Again, I don't think gathering foreign perspectives is a bad thing per se. The Canadian Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation invited Americans and visited states that have legalized to fact find and learn best practices, successes and mistakes. The house and senate committees gathered input from far and wide, including me and SAM.
That said, at least one senator objected to SAM influence, while others, in the conservative party, visited SAM in the U.S. and distributed their propaganda to committee members.
Sabet and SAM seem obviously intellectually dishonest and ideological to those familiar with cannabis and cannabis policy, but Sabet's smarmy approaches are persuasive to the uninitiated or those looking for reasons to resist reform. The trick, then, is how to draw a defensible line between SAM. Alex Berenson, etc. and foreigners worth hearing from.
What were the arguments for inviting Sabet to speak?
I noticed Sabet referred to Mark Kleiman, an American drug policy wonk, in the audience. Wayne Hall from Australia was among other foreign speakers invited. Sabet debated anti-prohibitionist Steve Rolles of Transform, UK.
Surely foreign perspectives can be valuable (I'm Canadian), and there is merit in hearing and responding to opposing perspectives, but inviting Kevin Sabet to speak on cannabis policy is a bit like inviting Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis to speak on evolution by natural selection. Maybe Sabet was invited to add a bit of levity?
The context and audience of a drug policy conference is a bit different than the context of a national referendum debate.
Incidentally, Sabet is a Baháʼí. His faith forbids "non-medical" drug use.