Orlando Massacre Marijuana Comparison Ousts Anti-Pot Leader


PORTLAND, Oregon – Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the anti-legalization group, has announced the resignation of the leader of their Oregon Project SAM affiliate over comments he made comparing the legalization of marijuana to the horrific massacre in Orlando that killed 49 and wounded 53.

As Marijuana Politics reported, on June 12, as the world was reacting to the news of the slaughter that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the Twitter account for SAM Oregon was trolling the comments of Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Orlando Massacre Marijuana
The original response from Randy Philbrick of SAM Oregon to Congressman Blumenauer’s statement on the Orlando Massacre.

In response to Blumenauer’s statement of disgust over the shooting and the cowardice of elected officials who won’t pass sensible gun regulations, SAM Oregon called out the cowardice of elected officials who “refuse to stand up against the marijuana industry”. SAM Oregon also chided Blumenauer for supporting one “threat to public health/public safety” [marijuana legalization] while also speaking to “condemn another” [the Orlando shooting].

Today, the leader of SAM Oregon who composed the tweets, Randy Philbrick of Portland, resigned from the anti-marijuana group, effective immediately.

Orlando Massacre marijuana
Randy Philbrick’s letter of resignation from SAM Oregon to Project SAM leader Kevin Sabet.

In his resignation, however, he still dodges responsibility for comparing the shooting that killed 49 to marijuana legalization that’s killed no one, writing, “My poor choice of words were construed as something I did not intend.”

The offensive tweets have since been scrubbed from the SAM Oregon Twitter account, but their text remains in our original reporting of the story.

Philbrick also tweets at his personal account, @PDXRandyLee. Marijuana Politics has documented some of his more offensive tweets that he composed while leading Project SAM’s Oregon affiliate.

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 CannabisRadio.com, 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 NORML.in 2015.