S.A.M : NEWS ROUND UP September-October 2018

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News Roundup

September/October 2018
Here is a brief rundown of marijuana news as well as an update on what we have been up to over the last month.

Register Now for the 2019 SAM SUMMIT in Atlanta!

Don’t miss the 6th Annual SAM Summit , once again taking place in conjunction with the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, GA on April 25, 2019.
SAM is proud to announce that U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, District Of Colorado, has just been added as the featured keynote.
This will be a must-see presentation as US Attorney Troyer will discuss his first-hand experience dealing with the negative effects of marijuana legalization in the state of Colorado.  Be sure to read his September 2018 op-ed ” It’s high time we took a breath from marijuana commercialization.”
Topics to be covered include: Lessons Learned from Legalized States, States to Watch in 2019 and Beyond, Legalization and Social Justice, and more.
We are currently accepting submissions for additional speakers. If you are interested in giving a presentation, please email Brendan at [email protected]

SAM Goes All-In to Defeat Legalization in North Dakota

SAM Action launched a statewide group announcing that they will fight passage of recreational marijuana in North Dakota in this fall’s election, calling it “bad law” and promising to educate residents about its dangers.
The proposed law would make North Dakota the most liberal state for the regulation and control of marijuana. It would allow for limitless THC, place no limits on how much pot a person could carry, or how much they sale or where they sell it. Further, the measure would severely hamstring law enforcement efforts to enforce impaired driving laws.
SAM Action is going all out to support efforts to oppose this reckless proposal from passing. To help bolster the opposition to Measure 3, SAM Action officially launched its new affiliate Healthy and Productive North Dakota. The image above is going up on billboards all over the state advertising the reality of limitless pot potency that the measure would allow for.

Multiple News Outlets Urge No Vote in Michigan, Including Detroit News Endorsement of SAM’s Efforts

New HHS Survey: Heavy Marijuana Use Skyrocketing

The Detroit News officially came out in opposition to the efforts to legalize marijuana in the state of Michigan. “The primary problem with this proposal is that it won’t do what its name implies: regulate marijuana like alcohol. Prop 1 would leave too much of the marijuana production and distribution network underground, making enforcement of regulatory and tax policies difficult.”
Additionally, SAM founder and president Dr. Kevin Sabet penned an oped for The Detroit News highlighting the concerns Michiganders should have about legalization:
“Large increases in drugged driving deaths, a phredatory industry targeting minorities and children, Big Marijuana wants nothing more than to use its power to entice the unsuspecting, the poor, the young and any other group that will listen to its false promises of a better world.”
I n an oped for the Detroit Free Press, Dr. Sabet discussed how legal pot brings about more substance abuse, impaired drivers, and racial disparities:
“According to data from the National Institutes of Health, 70% of today’s illicit drug users began their journey with marijuana. The simple fact is that today’s marijuana is much more potent – and harmful – than in the past.
There are now twice as many daily or near daily marijuana users in the US than just a decade ago, according to the most comprehensive survey on drug use released this month by the federal government. There are also now 8,300 new marijuana users each day, and 22% of 18 to 25 year olds are currently using the drug-the highest number for all three stats in recent memory.
The marijuana industry is getting their wish. More people are using highly potent pot edibles and other items much more often, and the perception of harm for these products is plummeting. It is time we woke up as a country and put science above ideology.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) also found that 42% of marijuana users use the drug daily or almost daily, and that marijuana was used by more than 8 in 10 substance users. Marijuana use rose significantly among age groups 12 and up, 18 and up, and 26 and up. Use among 12 to 17 year olds was stable versus last year, though in legalized states NSDUH data show marijuana use higher on average in legalized states.

Op-ed:  “New Jersey Police Chiefs: Don’t Legalize Pot”

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana operations in the state to deduct business expenses from their state taxes, effectively allowing them greater movement to to advertise, promote, and commercialize their products.
“Governor Brown did the right thing vetoing AB 1863, which would have granted legitimacy to these federally illegal operations. What is disturbing about the bill is that it would allow these operations to deduct advertising costs just like any legitimate business.
“Because marijuana operations are pushing a federally controlled substance they are not able to deduct these expenses. Had the bill been signed, Big Marijuana would have been able to advertise and operate with even more freedom than they have at present.”
As part of SAM’s ongoing work in New Jersey with its affiliate, NJ-RAMP, Member of the executive board for the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the Chairman of the NJSACOP Working Group, John Zebrowski, penned an op-edhighlighting the concerns of New Jersey law enforcement when it comes to marijuana legalization.
“My community has experienced its share of horrific crashes, traffic congestion, snarl-ups, delays, as well as, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. So I feel appropriately qualified to discuss the issues and concerns related to impaired driving, and in this case “drugged driving,” and its effect upon the motoring and non-motoring public.
Marijuana is not a benign drug. Impairment due to drugged driving has certain comparable similarities to impairment due to drunk driving, but it’s the differences that will make the roadways less safe and the ability to enforce drugged driving laws much more difficult.”

New Data Out of Colorado Show Harsh Reality of Legalization

A new Colorado  report compiled by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area finds marijuana-positive traffic fatalities, hospitalizations, marijuana use, and illegal market activity have increased since marijuana legalization.
The  report finds that since marijuana legalization:
  • Drugged driving went from killing roughly one person every 6.5 days to now killing someone every 2.5 days
  • Marijuana positive deaths have doubled
  • Regular marijuana use among the general population increased 45 percent
  • Marijuana use in Colorado is higher than 85 percent of the nation
  • The report also found that youth marijuana use increased 5 percent and is 54 percent higher than the national average, ranked 7th in the nation
  • The number of highway seizures of Colorado marijuana increased 39 percent
  • A total of 7.3 tons of illicit, Colorado-grown marijuana has been seized by law enforcement as it was en route to 24 different states
  • Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail system has increased 1,042 percent from an average of 52 parcels (2009-2012) to an average of 594 parcels (2013-2017
To read the full report, please click here.

Michigan Prosecutors: “Legal marijuana would change the landscape of Michigan”

SAM President Testifies in Kentucky Legislature as Lawmakers Consider Relaxing Marijuana Laws
Police, prosecutors, health officials and others across the state of Michigan warned of dangers if a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana is passed by voters in November. The prosecutors also endorsed the efforts of Healthy and Productive Michigan, a SAM-affiliate.
Steve Kempker, the Ottawa County sheriff, said he recently met with law-enforcement officials in Colorado where marijuana has been legal since the start of 2014. He said that homelessness, petty theft and drugged-driving crashes – with marijuana the main drug – have increased. Mostly, he’s concerned about the impact on children, and their easier access to the drug.
Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the legalizing marijuana would not, as some say, open jail cells for violent offenders. Any notion that the nation’s jails and prisons are filled with those convicted marijuana-related crimes is “fallacy,”
“It’s a terrible idea for Michigan,” Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said.
SAM founder and president Dr. Kevin Sabet was in Kentucky recently to testify before state lawmakers as they are considering marijuana legalization.
“I think we need to slow down a little bit, because I do think this is something we’re going to regret,” said Dr. Sabet.
Dr. Sabet spent much of the hearing debunking the radical claims of the marijuana industry’s lobbyists, including claims that the drug could cure cancer.
“We are not about criminalizing users or denying medicine that could be helpful for people, especially people with terminal illnesses,” he said. “What we want to talk about is making sure we keep in mind what the data are saying and what experience has shown.”

Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana: New Book Co-Edited by Dr. Kevin Sabet Available Now

Hot off the presses of Oxford University, Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana
is now available for purchase. 
This new book, co-edited by Drs. Kevin A. Sabet and Ken C. Winters, comprises chapters by other experts hailing from a wide range of fields including psychology, epidemiology, medicine, and criminal justice. It is a balanced, data-driven volume highlighting new theory and clinical evidence pertaining to marijuana.
The volume features a comprehensive review of research into marijuana’s impact on public health, including how it affects cognitive and neurological functioning, its medical effects, suggested treatment approaches for marijuana use disorders, marijuana smoking and lung function, and marijuana-impaired driving.
Supplies are limited, so place your order today!


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. If you can, please chip-in with a small donation by clicking here.

If you can’t chip-in, then at the very least,  and help grow the SAM community.

In Health,

Colton Grace

Communications Associate

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

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