More Reefer Madness from Kevin Sabet with Release of 'Smokescreen'

At left: Kevin Bright. At right: "Smokescreen" by Kevin Sabet.

Kevin Sabet is the most hated man in cannabis. He co-founded Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a.k.a. SAM. Remember when Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said in March, “If you legalize marijuana, you will kill you kids”? That press conference was organized by SAM. Apparently, it's one of their talking points, that marijuana use leads to childhood deaths.

Sabet has a book coming out on 4/20 called Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn't Want You to Know. The fact that Sabet and his publisher Forefront Books, which is distributed by Simon & Schuster, would chose 4/20 for a publishing date is appalling enough.

Then I read the April 15 article in the Vallejo Times Herald headlined: "Benicia father of suicide victim applauds anti-marijuana Smokescreen." It tells the story of Kevin Bright, who died of an opioid overdose in 2018. Alarmed by Kevin’s pot use, his father Bart cut him off.

"This whole story is ludicrous. It could be a 1930s Reefer Madness headline about a crazed pot smoker going on a killing spree."

Here’s how Sabet describes the situation in Smokescreen:

"He was 15 and suffering from depression when he started smoking pot in his small town just outside of San Francisco. He was spending about $400 a week on marijuana, ingesting capsules filled with a tarlike oil containing high doses of THC. People told his parents that marijuana wasn’t addictive. But Kevin’s use proved otherwise. He simply couldn’t shake the habit. Although he admitted at one point that marijuana had 'ruined his life,' he kept demanding that his parents buy him what he called 'his medicine.' Out of love and worry, they refused.  Subsequently, he overdosed on pills, but survived. Then he tried to hang himself, but a 911 call saved him. Later he drove his Honda Accord off a boat ramp, but didn’t drown as he hoped he would. Finally, on August 14, 2018, at just 29 years of age, Kevin placed a plastic bag over his head in a hotel room and inhaled nitrous oxide through a tube until he asphyxiated. He finally succeeded in ending his life. As Hazel Bright, Kevin’s mother, said, 'If we can convince one parent—to educate them so they can hopefully save their son or daughter—it will all be worth it, because it doesn’t make sense to lose our children to marijuana.'" 

So, cannabis does kill your kids, according to Sabet.

This whole story of course is ludicrous. It could be a 1930s headline about a crazed pot smoker going on a killing spree.

RELATED: Sabet Excited About Acting Drug Czar Regina LaBelle

Yes, it’s sad that Kevin Bright took his own life, but to blame it on marijuana is typical of the uphill battle we fight every day to convince people that cannabis is not negative, a terrible thing to do or a killer.

It’s bad enough the Vallejo Times Herald published this Reefer Madness article without talking to medical professionals, it's been picked up by several other media outlets.

We here at CelebStoner prefer our journalism green.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.