President Biden Signs SAM-Drafted Marijuana Research Bill into Law

(Washington, DC) — Today, President Joe Biden signed the groundbreaking, bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (H.R. 8454) into law. This marks the first time marijuana reform has been made into law in United States history. The President’s signing comes after the House of Representatives and Senate passed the legislation by a 325-90 […]

Biden Department of Justice Releases Memo Outlining Concerns About SAFE Banking Act

Official Release (Washington, DC) –– Today, the Biden Administration Department of Justice (DOJ) released a memo detailing their concerns about the SAFE Banking Act. Among the DOJ’s chief worries is that SAFE Banking could protect illegal criminal enterprises from being prosecuted for money laundering, a concern long expressed by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). These are the […]

New Study Shows Youth Marijuana Use Increases After Legalization

(Alexandria, VA) — Earlier this month, a comprehensive study based on two national, large datasets by Temple University researchers showed that youth marijuana use increases after recreational legalization. The study will be published in the Addictive Behaviors journal in March 2023. The study found that, after legalization: Adolescent and young adult past-month cannabis use prevalence increased; Among adolescents and […]

Statement on the Passing of Dr. Mitch Rosenthal

In a statement released today, the Rosenthal Center for Addiction Studies shared that their founder and president, Dr. Mitchell “Mitch” Rosenthal, passed away peacefully on November 14. Dr. Rosenthal was a pioneer in the treatment of substance use disorders, having founded Phoenix House, the nation’s leading non-profit provider of treatment and recovery services. He also […]

Policy Groups Send Coalition Letter to Every United States Senator Opposing SAFE Banking Act

(Washington, DC) – Today, a diverse coalition of medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, drug prevention organizations, law enforcement, communities of faith, and public policy advocacy organizations sent a letter to every United States Senator expressing their concerns with the SAFE Banking Act. “To put it simply, the passage of this piece of legislation would allow […]

President Biden Pardons Simple Marijuana Possession Charges, Demonstrates Ability to Reform Without Legalization

(Washington, DC) — Today, President Joe Biden pardoned “all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who committed the offense of simple possession of marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.” Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President and CEO Dr. Kevin Sabet, the marijuana lead at the White House drug office from 2009–2011 […]

Healthy and Productive North Dakota Files to Oppose the Legalization of Marijuana in North Dakota

(Fargo, North Dakota) –– Today, Healthy and Productive North Dakota was filed to oppose the passage of Measure 2, the ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota. The committee was filed by Kristie Spooner, LSW, who is an addiction counselor in Fargo, North Dakota, and served as the Chair of the campaign that […]

New National Drug Policy “Think and Do” Tank Forming to Offer Bold Solutions to the Addiction Crisis Facing America

(New York, NY) The Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS), a new, transformative, global 501(c)(3) “think and do” tank launching today at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, has been formed in response to the raging addiction crisis and the arcane complications to supporting population-level policies aimed at reducing substance use initiation and disorder. The launch, which […]

Leading Health, Treatment, and Family Service Organizations Join SAM in Letter Opposing Marijuana Legalization Bill

(Washington, DC)- In an open letter to Senators Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, a coalition of organizations representing medical professionals, treatment specialists, faith communities, families and other stakeholders raises concerns over the health and safety risks of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act––this bill, which lacks many safeguards for public health, would deschedule and legalize […]

Senators Reintroduce Bill Prohibiting Sale of Candy-Flavored Weed Products to Minors

(Washington, DC) —Last week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced a bill (S.4628) which SAM helped to draft in 2017 that prohibits the sale of candy-flavored marijuana products to minors. The bill has 25 cosponsors. The introduction follows recent warning letters from the FDA on copycat pot products and letters to Congress from famous brands like Pepsi […]

SAM-Drafted Marijuana Research Bill Passes House of Representatives

(Washington, DC) — Today, The House of Representatives passed the groundbreaking, bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (H.R. 8454) by a 325-95 vote. This legislation is the most significant advancement in marijuana research reform in several years. The bill, which SAM helped draft and has supported for several years, streamlines the application process […]

Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act Introduced in the Senate

(Washington, DC) Today, Senators Booker, Schumer, and Wyden introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), a bill that would legalize and commercialize marijuana nationwide. “The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act marches forward on unchecked marijuana legalization, despite the challenges plaguing states with legal weed,” said Kevin Sabet, Ph.D, co-founder and President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) […]

Colorado Report on High-Potency Pot is Promising; Legislators Must Act

(Denver, CO) –– Today, the Colorado School of Public Health’s Cannabis Research & Policy Project released the HB 21-1317 potency Report to the Colorado Legislature, which detailed high-potency marijuana’s harms on the state of Colorado. Last year’s regulatory overhaul law, HB1317, established a Scientific Review Council to make evidence-based recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly about regulatory changes and […]

New Federal Data Shows Marijuana is Major Factor in Emergency Department Visits Among Youth

(Washington, D.C.) – Earlier this week, preliminary data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) was published for the first time since its discontinuation in 2011. DAWN is a nationwide public health surveillance system that records drug-related emergency department visit data. This year’s report, containing data collected in […]

Marijuana Legalization Vetoed by Delaware’s Governor Carney

(Dover, Delaware) Today, days after strong advocacy by SAM and its allies, Governor John Carney (D) issued a veto on House Bill 371, a bill that would have drastically expanded marijuana commercialization in the state. “This was Governor Carney’s Big Tobacco moment–and he did the right thing,” said Patrick J. Kennedy, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Co-Founder and Honorary […]

FDA Issues Warning Letters on Delta-8 THC

(Silver Spring, Maryland) Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued several warning letters to CBD and THC companies who are illegally selling and marketing products for human and animal use containing Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Delta-8 THC, and infusing them in gummi bears and other candies, pet products, oils, and other foods. Dr. Kevin […]

Largest National Coalition of Public Health, Family, Substance Use Education Groups to Oppose Developing Federal Marijuana Legalization Policy, Launch Parent Action Network

Key reasons for opposition include unregulated THC concentrations, impaired driving, youth-targeted marketing and marijuana-induced mental health concerns What: SAM to hold day long Summit at annual Rx Summit on marijuana policy issues Who: Patrick J. Kennedy; Kevin Sabet, Co-Founders of SAM; Head of Illinois NAACP Teresa Haley; Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA; Washington State Rep Lauren […]

U.S. House Passes SAM-Supported Bill Easing Access to Marijuana Research

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAM-supported Medical Marijuana Research Act. The bipartisan bill would remove some barriers that prevent researchers from adequately evaluating the potential risks and benefits of the use of marijuana and its derivatives. Notably, more than 30,000 research studies have been done on the drug under […]

MORE Act Passes House in Useless Show Vote, But Support Dwindles From Last Year

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text](Washington, D.C.) – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize and commercialize marijuana. Despite […]

President Biden’s 2023 Budget Rejects Marijuana Commercialization

(Alexandria, VA) – Sticking to campaign promises, President Biden’s new budget, released minutes ago, rejected marijuana commercialization in several major ways. It does not extend Justice Department protections to legal marijuana states, meaning federal resources can still be used to enforce marijuana laws. Additionally, the budget does not give the District of Columbia latitude to […]

New Tobacco and Alcohol Funded Report On Youth Marijuana Use and Legalization Deeply Flawed

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) released a rebuttal to a new report from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), a group funded by Molson Coors, Altria (Philip Morris), private cash and other companies. The report asserted that marijuana legalization is not tied to increases in youth marijuana use–something not supported by their evidence […]

Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bill Defeated; Public Health and Safety Groups Claim Victory

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, a bill to establish a commercial marijuana market in Virginia died in a House of Delegates Subcommittee. This tremendous victory for public health follows a year-long push by the marijuana industry to pass a bill supported by the industry and its investors, including the Big Tobacco giant Altria. A broad coalition […]

South Dakota Marijuana Legalization Bill Defeated; Public Health and Safety Groups Claim Victory

(Pierre, SD) – Today, a bill to legalize marijuana in South Dakota died in the House State Affairs Committee. This tremendous victory for public health follows a year-long push by the marijuana industry to pass a bill supported by the industry and its investors. A broad coalition including Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), law enforcement […]

SAM State and Local Leadership Update

SAM remains active in more than three dozen states, in addition to our work federally (check out our Webinar last week with NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow). Today alone, we are in Ohio speaking with a dozen legislators and on TV, conducting three radio interviews in three different states, meeting with top federal drug officials […]