At a recent a policy summit in Atlanta, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the leading marijuana policy group offering a science-based approach to marijuana reform, awarded several achievement awards to influential and prominent influencers on drug policy.
In recognition of his lifetime of dedication to public health, SAM President Dr. Kevin Sabet presented former United States Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky with the 2019 Smart Approaches to Marijuana Lifetime Achievement Award. For 35 years, Levitsky served as a U.S. diplomat featuring stints as Ambassador to Brazil and Bulgaria, Executive Secretary of the State Department, Deputy Director of the Voice of America, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights. In 2003, he was chosen for a seat on the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). He served in this post until 2012.
Past recipients of the SAM Lifetime Achievement award include former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Robert DuPont, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Chuck Grassley, Sue Rusche, and General Barry McCaffrey.
“Serious, humble, generous, distinguished, and scientific. These are all traits of previous recipients of this award and Ambassador Levitsky’s body of work fully incorporates them,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “We are proud to be associated with Ambassador Levitsky, who has been an inspiration and a mentor of myself and others in the field.”
Additionally, SAM was proud to award the Patrick J Kennedy Advocate of the Year Award to two state lawmakers, Representative Marty Moylan and Representative Kim Moser, who have been influential in defending public health and safety in their state.
Democrat Illinois State Representative Marty Moylan has been an extremely vocal opponent of marijuana legalization in his state and lead a House Resolution urging the state to slow down a rushed effort to commercialize the drug for tax revenue. Representative Moylan’s resolution was eventually supported by a majority of his colleagues in the Illinois House of Representatives. Representative Moylan now serves as the legislative head of a vastly growing coalition of individuals opposing marijuana legalization in Illinois.
Republican Kentucky State Representative Kim Moser is in her second term in the Kentucky General Assembly and is the immediate Past-President of the American Medical Association Alliance, leading advocacy on health care and medical legislative issues and has served in many advocacy roles prior to her election. She is the founding Director of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Policy, where she worked to eliminate the scourge of heroin and substance abuse and has been instrumental in the passage of legislation to combat the addiction epidemic.
“The work being done by these dedicated lawmakers is indeed inspiring to say the least,” said Dr. Sabet. “With legislators such as these lending their voices to champion efforts to solve our nation’s drug problems, I am confident we will see many more victories for public health this year and for many years to come.”