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News Roundup
April 2018
It’s been a busy month!
Together, we are making a difference!

On “4/20,” SAM Highlights Harms of Marijuana With Former Congressman  Patrick Kennedy & Medical, Legal, and Government Experts at National Press Club New Study Finds Marijuana Legalization Will Cost Illinois $670 Million
SAM officials, including a former Congressman and the nation’s first African-American magistrate judge, joined members of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, faith-based leaders, researchers from the National Institutes of Health, and other public health and safety experts at a press conference warning about the dangers of marijuana and the explosion of high potency THC.
“We’re sounding the alarm today – during the unofficial ‘marijuana holiday’ – about pot edibles, candies, waxes, and other items used to hook kids on THC,” said Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Honorary Chair of SAM. “This is the public health crisis we cannot afford to ignore…”
Healthy and Productive Illinois (HPIL) – a project of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action) – released a comprehensive working paper on the projected costs of legalization in Illinois, finding that legalization would cost the state $670.5 million, far outweighing estimated tax revenue projections of approximately $566 million.
This report used data from states like Colorado that have legalized marijuana to debunk the myth that taxed marijuana sales will be a boon to the state’s well-reported fiscal crisis…

SAM’s 2018 Summit A Huge Success!

A big thank you to everyone who attended our 5th Annual SAM Summit in Atlanta, GA last week! In case you were unable to make it, hundreds of  advocates, victims of marijuana, substance abuse counselors, doctors, members of law enforcement, and other concerned citizens convened to listen to excellent speakers and discuss the dangers of marijuana legalization.

Headliners included top federal officials, former NIDA Head Toxicologist Dr. Marilyn Huestis, and more.

New Poll Offers False Dichotomy, Skews Illinois Voters’ View On Marijuana

SAM Action and Partners Force Stalemate on Pro-Pot Appropriations Riders
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute recently released a  poll of Illinois voters that purported to show overwhelming support for the legalization of marijuana. The poll showed that 66% of voters in the state were supportive of the legalization of marijuana if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol.
But if you ask a poorly-phrased question, you get a poorly-understood response. In contrast, a recent Mason-Dixon poll shows only 23% of Illinois voters support legalization when given other options.
While the Rohrabacher-Leahy Amendment was ultimately included in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act, SAM Action was able to fight the industry to a stalemate and prevent protection of the recreational industry.
We did see a victory in that all other attempted pro-marijuana amendments were left out, leaving us with the status quo. The bill also maintains language blocking Washington D.C. from full commercialization and infiltration by Big Pot.
Comprehensive Study Finds Marijuana Legalization Drives Youth Use, Crime Rates, The Black Market, And Harms Communities Of Color
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the leading, nonpartisan U.S. organization offering a science-based approach to marijuana policy, released the most comprehensive study to date
entitled: Lessons from Marijuana Legalization in Four U.S. States and D.C. This study, validated by scientists from around the country, found that since legalization, marijuana use has soared, the black market is thriving, and communities of color are being negatively affected.
“The marijuana industry is actively working to become the next Big Tobacco. The use of THC candies and drinks are catering to young people and getting them into the drug at an early age,” said SAM President Kevin Sabet, PhD. “At a time when our nation is struggling with a crippling opioid epidemic, the last thing we need is young people getting caught up in drug use thanks to a relaxing of drug laws. This study should serve as an eye-opener for our policy makers at both the state and federal level,” continued Sabet.
Marijuana Accountability Coalition Unveils “Brought To You By The Pot Industry!” Top 5 Recipients of Big Marijuana Money SAM Officials Speak at United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Commission on Narcotics in Austria
(MAC) unveiled the results of the “Brought to You by the Pot Industry” campaign. This campaign sought to expose the top recipients of money from the pot industry in Colorado as it works to become the next Big Tobacco.
While each of these legislators may claim to stand for families, communities, and public health, their financial disclosures say otherwise…
MAC also launched the #shareYOURtruthcampaign to share the stories of countless people, families, and communities that have had their lives directly damaged by the use of marijuana. For too long, the only truths being told are those convenient to the booming and unethical marijuana industry.  
SAM Founder and President Dr. Kevin Sabet spent a week at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria testifying on the impact of marijuana legalization in the United States
Click the link below to watch the video of his testimony!


Big Marijuana is borrowing the playbook of Big Tobacco in search of the same deep profits at the expense of addicted users. It is time to combat their game with the facts! To help you do so, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has partnered with Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) to offer a comprehensive media campaign prevention toolkit.

As always, thank you for being a SAM supporter – and please share this recent news far & wide!

Have a great great rest of your week,

Colton Grace

SAM Communications Associate


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