Anti-Pot Org Compares Legal Marijuana to Orlando Shooting


Following the horrendous tragic mass shooting at an Orlando dance club that killed and wounded over 100 people, SAM Oregon, the state affiliate of Kevin Sabet’s anti-pot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, sent out a tweet chiding Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s statement of sorrow for the killings.

“Words cannot express my sorrow,” tweeted Congressman Blumenauer. “Disgusted by this horrific act on the LGBT community & cowardice of those who won’t pass sensible gun laws.”

In response, SAM Oregon, led by a Portland native named Randy Philbrick, tweeted in response, “@repblumenauer you can’t support 1 threat to public health/public safety and then condemn another. You have failed this state.”

From context and history, it is clear that Philbrick / SAM Oregon is calling Rep. Blumenauer’s support of marijuana legalization a “threat to public health/public safety” and comparing it to the mass shooting that Rep. Blumenauer was condemning.

In response, the Congressman tweeted back, “@SAM_Oregon Over 32k dead from gun violence each year in US. ZERO dead from marijuana. Your comparison is delusional & shameful.”

Drug reform activists on Twitter reacted to Philbrick / SAM Oregon’s tweet swiftly and harshly.

TIME contributor and author of “Unbroken Brain”, Maia Szalavitz, reiterated the Congressman’s point that there’s “never been a single [overdose] death” from marijuana.

Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, characterized the tweet as “embarrassing & shameful” and warned that the national head of Project SAM, Kevin Sabet, would probably force the tweet to be removed from the SAM Oregon feed.

Shaleen Title, formerly with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, warned Project SAM’s national office to “rein in” SAM Oregon who was “trolling” the Congressman.

It appears, however, that SAM Oregon’s tweet from 10:20am wasn’t Philbrick’s first response to Congressman Blumenauer. The original post from SAM Oregon, accuses the Congressman of “cowardice” in the face of the [legal] marijuana industry.

It appears Angell was prescient, as the original tweets from 10:16am and 10:20am are now gone from SAM Oregon’s feed. In their place is a retweet of an Orlando memorial and three tweets trying to explain away the deleted tweets as being “blown out of proportion”.

Our requests for comment from Randy Philbrick were not returned as of press time.

Russ Belville

"Radical" Russ Belville is a blogger, podcaster, and host of The Russ Belville Show, a daily two-hour talk radio show focused on the evolution of the legal marijuana industry in the United States. The program is airing live at 3pm Pacific Time from Portland, Oregon, on, with podcast available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Russ began his marijuana activism in 2005 with Oregon NORML, then in 2009 went on to work for National NORML, and found and direct Portland 2015.