Preventing the next Big Tobacco

Holding Big Marijuana Accountable,
Protecting the Public from Marijuana Commercialization

SAM’s primary focus is educating the public about the harms of marijuana legalization—a policy which has consistently placed corporate profits and addiction ahead of public health. We provide information on the harms of such policies to interested parties for use in messaging, and educate federal and state legislators on the benefits of a science-based marijuana policy.

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Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is

We envision a society where marijuana policies are aligned with the scientific understanding of marijuana’s harms, and the commercialization and normalization of marijuana are no more. Our mission is to educate citizens on the science of marijuana and to promote health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences.

Educating the public and policy makers on the harms of marijuana commercialization and legalization

We invest heavily in the longer-term goals of educating the public and policy-makers alike on the harms of marijuana use and marijuana commercialization, the importance of science-based drug policy, and research into the potential medical use of compounds derived from marijuana. Working with our state affiliates, we hold federal, state, and local-level briefings across the country on these issues, and produce and distribute a wide range of related educational materials at no charge.


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    The Four Pillars of
    Smart Approaches to Marijuana


    To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.


    To have honest conversation about legal reforms that include reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.


    To prevent the establishment of Big Marijuana that would market marijuana to children — and to prevent Big Tobacco from taking over Big Marijuana. Those are the very likely results of legalization.


    To promote research on marijuana in order to obtain FDA-approved, pharmacy-dispensed, cannabis-based medications.

    Stay Up to Date on Recent News

    SAM in the National Narcotics Officers Association’s “The Coalition”

    “Of concern, the SAFE Banking Act could inadvertently allow cartels to launder their ill-gotten gains––from all illegal activities––through the marijuana industry and into our federal banking system. Eric Brown, the President of the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, raised a similar concern, arguing “Opening U.S. financial services to illicit activities will only make a bad situation worse by […]

    Dr. Kevin Sabet in Singapore news:

    Scholar: Drug detoxification treatment must be combined with punishment  After Portugal, Oregon and British Columbia implemented drug decriminalization policies, the number of drug-related deaths increased instead of decreasing. Scholars interviewed believe that this shows that decriminalization is not enough to solve the problem of drug addiction.   Dr. Kevin Sabet, chairman of the non-profit organization Foundation […]

    Luke Niforatos in Colorado Sun: An audit of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division discovers significant lapses of oversight

    “At the end of July, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division released its annual performance audit. This division, as specified in the report, is responsible for ‘regulating Colorado’s retail marijuana industry,’ ‘inspecting marijuana stores,’ ‘investigating alleged violations of marijuana laws and rules,’ and ‘pursuing enforcement actions.’ Yet, key findings of the report revealed that though they are charged […]

    Be a part of ourgrowing coalition

    Our partners consist of both individuals and organizations who promote big ideas and help us in this ongoing work championing smart policies that decrease marijuana use.

    Become a Partner Make a Donation

    We should meet people where they are at, but never leave them where they are at.

    Congressman Patrick J. KennedyCo-Founder, Smart Approached to Marijuana