When it comes to marijuana opposition, Project S.A.M. is the poster child. Smart Approaches to Marijuana was founded by Kevin Sabet, who is widely considered to be the top marijuana opponent in the nation. Wherever there is significant marijuana reform, Kevin Sabet and his well funded crew of prohibitionists are sure to follow. The 2016 election was no exception. Project S.A.M. had a presence in multiple states, and got trounced in all of them except Arizona. Naturally Sabet tried to spin the loss in Arizona at the time, declaring it a huge victory and an example of how people don’t really want legalization. Never mind the fact that four other states voted to legalize marijuana during the same election, right?
In at least one of the successful states Project S.A.M.’s political arm, SAM Action Inc, is looking at a fine for breaking campaign finance rules when it opposed Proposition 64 in California. Below is a summary of the violations:
The violations included not changing the campaign committee’s name to include its major donor, Juliet Schauer, a retired art professor and Pennsylvania activist who contributed $1.36 million to the group to cover expenses in California and other states considering marijuana legalization.
The committee also was late in disclosing five Schauer contributions, failed to accurately report the total amount of contributions and failed to file a list of its top 10 contributors, as required by the state Political Reform Act.
The fine is only for $6,000, which I’m sure is a drop in the bucket. It’s my understanding that Kevin Sabet gets paid $3,000 per speaking engagement (plus room and board!), so he will have to pick up a couple of extra speaking gigs at cop conventions, forced drug rehab seminars, and/or pharmaceutical expos to cover the spread. This is not the first time that marijuana opponents have been accused of campaign violations in opposition of a marijuana campaign. Nine officers in Oregon were fined for breaking campaign rules banning public employees from using their public positions for campaign purposes.