It is Time to Hold a SAM Training

Trainings are now available for all age groups associated with non-profit organizations, corporations, healthcare, clinicians, social workers, counselors, schools, law enforcement and local community groups around the country who want to educate their communities and employees on all issues surrounding marijuana.

Here’s how a SAM Training in your state can help. We go beyond slogans and clichés to give you a data-driven and tested approach to marijuana use and its consequences.

Watch SAM Presentation Highlights

Our Speakers

Kevin A. Sabet, PhD

President & CEO

KEVIN A. SABET, PHD An affiliate of Yale University’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Medical School, dubbed by NBC News as the “prodigy of drug politics,” author, consultant, and the only bipartisan drug policy advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for more than 25 years. His first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort (Midpoint) in 2013, and its second edition released in 2018. He is also the co-editor of Marijuana and Contemporary Health, published by Oxford University Press. His bestselling book, Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, was distributed by Simon & Schuster in 2021 and released to critical acclaim. Dr. Sabet’s work as a government advisor began in the Clinton Administration as a researcher, and he was the senior speechwriter on drug policy in the Bush Administration (2002-2003). He returned to government in 2009, where he was asked to assist in drafting President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy as a senior advisor. In 2011, he stepped down after being the only drug policy staffer to have served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has since been profiled in Politico, Crain's Business, Salon Magazine, the International Business Times, The Daily Beast, Vox, and many other publications as America's point person on drug policy issues. He has spoken at the Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, the Aspen Ideas, New Yorker, and Politicon festivals, at the Puebla Ideas Conference to debate the former presidents of Mexico and Colombia, on the Organization of American States blue ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy. He has published op-eds in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of other publications. Dr. Sabet’s regular blog is housed at the Huffington Post and two of his opeds have earned him a “Five Best Columns” distinction by The Atlantic. Dr. Sabet also regularly advises foreign governments, several non-governmental organizations working to reduce drug abuse and its consequences, and serves in an international role as an advisor, in various capacities, to the United Nations and other multi-national organizations. He is the winner of numerous drug policy awards, including the 2014 Nils Bejerot Award for Global Drug Prevention, given at Stockholm City Hall by the anti-drug organization chaired by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, the 2019 National Narcotics Lifetime Achievement Award, and the John P. McGovern Award for Drug Prevention given by the Institute for Behavior and Health, and Robert DuPont, the founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters of Science from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 2007 and 2002, respectively, and his B.A. with high honors in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001.

Luke Niforatos

Executive Vice President

Luke Niforatos serves as the Executive Vice President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading drug policy experts. Leveraging more than a decade working on drug, addiction and health care issues, Luke drives the strategy behind SAM’s federal, state, and educational initiatives. Luke has testified in state capitols across America. He is a sought-after guest on major media outlets including ABC, Fox News, NBC, CNBC, CSPAN, Newsmax, and network affiliates, as well as syndicated and local radio shows in markets coast to coast. Luke has been featured in Time Magazine and as a speaker at drug policy events held by The Economist, the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and hundreds of town halls. Prior to joining SAM, he was the co-founder of a successful healthcare company. Luke attended the University of Denver and has a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University.  

Jaime Zerbe

Chief of Staff

Jaime Zerbe currently serves as SAM’s Chief of Staff where she focuses on internal and external communications, manages daily operations, and provides guidance for SAM’s legislative and communications strategy. Jaime’s time in DC began like so many others: answering the phone in her congressman’s office. After some time on the Hill, Jaime served as the Legislative Director at a national nonprofit and advised on drug policy as well as communications strategy. In 2020, Jaime started a successful aviation-focused digital marketing firm that she named after her late father.

Will Jones III

Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

Coming from a legacy of civil rights leaders in Washington, D.C, Will Jones serves as the Communications and Outreach Associate at SAM. He is an experienced speaker and community activist working on issues of social justice at the local and national level.   Partnering with national drug policy advisors and leaders around Washington, D.C., in 2014 Jones founded Two Is Enough DC to raise awareness of the predatory marijuana commercial industry which disproportionally targets disenfranchised communities similar to Alcohol and Big Tobacco. He later started the campaign against marijuana legalization and commercialization in D.C.   Mr. Jones has been featured on a wide variety of TV, radio and print outlets talking about marijuana policy and other issues including NBC, Reuters TV, CBS, BBC World, Al Jazeera, C-span the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Associated Press.   Mr Jones is also a 3rd generation Washingtonian and proudly serves as a DC Firefighter/EMT and obtained his MPA from The GWU Trachtenberg School of Public Policy.

Jordan Davidson

Government Affairs Manager

Jordan Davidson serves as SAM’s Government Affairs Manager. When he was 17 years old, Jordan entered long-term addiction recovery after struggling with cannabis use disorder. Prior to joining SAM, Jordan worked in Connecticut politics at the state and federal level. At SAM, Jordan manages federal policy on Capitol Hill. Jordan helped shepherd the passage of the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, the first-ever marijuana reform bill signed into law. He also led successful efforts to defeat Congressional passage of the MORE, States Reform, Cannabis Administration and Opportunity, and SAFE Banking Acts. Since he joined SAM in 2019, Jordan has specialized in youth outreach and substance abuse prevention. He has been invited as a guest speaker by organizations and members of Congress across the country. Jordan has a BA in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C.

Dana Stevens

SAM Director of Local Affairs/ High Means DUI

Dana serves as SAM’s Director of Local Affairs. She also oversees SAM's High Means DUI initiative which seeks to bring light to the stories of victims of marijuana-related car crashes. She has been a public health and safety advocate most of her adult life! She cut her policy chops serving as a volunteer for the 9th District PTA (San Diego & Imperial Counties) as Vice President of Community Concerns and then Vice President of Public Health. She also served on the state PTA Legislative Committee where she learned to work state legislation. Volunteer policy work led to professional campaign initiatives, including the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence (including the assault weapons ban, an initiative to eliminate Saturday Night Specials and to prohibit "look-a-like toy guns). In 1994, Dana ran the San Diego County campaign organization in opposition to big tobacco's Prop 188 (to roll back California's progressive tobacco-free workplace laws). In spite of being outspent (20/1) the NO on 188 campaign trounced big tobacco with 74% of the vote. Her work to reduce binge and underage drinking in Mexico (where the drinking age is 18) was featured on CBS News programs 60Minutes and 48-Hours as well as the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. A. Eden Evins

Dr. A. Eden Evins is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Addiction Medicine and the Addiction Research Program of the Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and her medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She completed an internship in pediatric medicine at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and her residency in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Harvard-Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston, where she was also chief resident. Dr. Evins conducted a fellowship in molecular biology at the Mailman Research Center of McLean Hospital and a second fellowship in clinical and translational research at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She received a master’s degree in public health in clinical effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Evins’ research interests include development of novel pharmacologic and behavioral treatments for nicotine dependence and for prevention of relapse to nicotine and other addictive disorders in people with and without major mental illness. Her interests also include development of personalized treatment algorithms, pharmacotherapy for negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. She has authored book chapters, reviews and articles that have been published in prestigious scientific journals, such as the American Journal of PsychiatryBiological PsychiatryNeuropsychopharmacologyJournal of Clinical Psychiatry, and the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Dr. Evins has received two career awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institute of Health (NIH), has twice received a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award, received the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit Young Investigator Award, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Program Young Investigator Award. She is currently funded by a NIDA career development award to mentor young scientists in patient-oriented addiction research and to continue her work in development of personalized treatments for addictive disorders, and by two NIDA R01 grants, two R21 grants and one U01 grant for the study of novel pharmacologic and behavioral treatments for addictive disorders.

Dr. Sion Kim Harris

Dr. Sion Kim Harris is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR), an international research center that strives to be a leading source of innovative, effective strategies to prevent, identify, and treat substance-related problems in children, adolescents, and young adults. Since its inception in 1999, CeASAR has pioneered work in adolescent substance use screening and brief intervention strategies, including the development of the CRAFFT screen which has become the internationally recommended standard for adolescent substance use screening. CeASAR has conducted research in partnership with investigators worldwide including the Czech Republic, Spain, Zambia, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia. CeASAR studies also include evaluation of the effects of adolescent substance use on brain development. Dr. Harris has published nearly 70 original scientific publications, and has received numerous awards, including the Young Professional Award from the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association, and Best Research Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. She is an advisory member of the National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Resource Center and the MCHB Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network.

Teresa Haley

Senior Policy Advisor, Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions

Teresa Haley serves as Senior Policy Advisor to FDPS and the President of the Illinois Chapter of the NAACP. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication in 1992 and her master’s degree in Public Administration in 1994 from the University of Illinois. She is a longtime passionate civil rights activist, public policy advocate, professional trainer and dynamic speaker. In 2015, she became the first female president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference and is serving her sixth consecutive term as president of the Springfield Branch NAACP. She spearheaded the first-ever Springfield Branch NAACP Office and Education Center. She chairs the Economic Development Workgroup for the Illinois Department of Public Health Covid Taskforce and Springfield Airport Authority, which helps small black-owned businesses stay alive. She serves on the governor’s Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative Transition Committee and the Governor’s Commission for Environmental Justice. Among the numerous honors Haley has received is the first-ever NAACP Activist of the Year Image Award in 2020, the Community Service Award from the Frontier International Club in 2020. Teresa was the first black female to receive the Springfield’s First Citizens Award in 2019. In February 2022, Teresa received the Alumni Humanitarian Award from the University of Illinois for her outstanding involvement and dedication, significant contribution of leadership and service. In March 2022, Teresa received the Paul Harris Fellow Award - Community Service Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

This Approach has a Proven Track Record of Success!

You get to choose the topics that best fit your organizations circumstances.
Lessons learned in legalized states
The social costs of marijuana
Drugged driving
Mental health effects of marijuana
Marijuana potency and price trends in the legal and illegal markets
Cost to workplace and employers, and impact on employee productivity
Marijuana and the teen brain – and how it affects school performance
Cost of implementing legalization from law enforcement to regulators
Impact of legalization on communities of color
Emergency room and hospital admissions related to marijuana

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