Tag Archives: SAM

Support for pot legalization in New York falls 20 percentage points

When polls give the choice of decriminalization, support for marijuana legalization falls by 20 percentage points.  Last week Emerson College conducted a poll for SAM Action.

The SAM Action poll used the same college pollster as Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance used.  The pollster found support falls dramatically when it offers respondents alternatives to legalization. The results are in direct contrast to the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports the legalization of all drugs. Continue reading

Here’s a Handy Way to Understand Marijuana Policy

SAM published a new educational toolkit,  based on the current marijuana policy problems, as of February 2017.   This brochure is an abbreviated guide for legislators, policy makers and others who are looking into marijuana policy.   SAM, which stands for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, advocates for a policy that doesn’t involve jail………………or legalization.

Handy graphic designs can help people visualize what the scientific data is saying right now.  Here’s the brochure in the pdf form.

Several states have legalized marijuana and now we have four years worth of data from Washington and Colorado.  We can compare different states’ marijuana policies and anticipate where the big problems lie.   For example, 22% of the traffic fatalities in Washington involved marijuana impairment in 2014, the year commercial marijuana stores opened.

With the help of a blue ribbon team of professional and medical advisors, SAM presents information on the following:                                *Health Risks                *Crime                 *Traffic deaths                                          *Addiction as it relates to other substances                                                      *Work-related problems                                                                                                   *Medical marijuana programs and how it effects youth usage                  *Overall problems related to marijuana usage between ages 12-17

SAM is the leading non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to a science-based marijuana policy.    SAM hopes to prevent marijuana commercialization. Through its 501 (c) (4), SAM Action, it hopes to stop marijuana legalization.

BIG MARIJUANA is following the model of BIG TOBACCO in its addiction-for-profit industry.   Meanwhile, politicians from Maryland to New Mexico have invested in this new growth industry.   What are hidden public health and social costs of promoting this drug?    Many Americans don’t seem to realize that legalization is commercialization, not decriminalization

Coalition of Health Organizations Urges DNC to Reject Marijuana

Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a broad coalition of organizations working to prevent and treat substance abuse sent a letter today to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ahead of their decision on their party platform, including marijuana policy.  Former Representative Patrick Kennedy , Honorary Chair of SAM, who once chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, signed the letter.

Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), the National Alliance of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (NAADAC), Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC), Phoenix House, CeDAR and The Hills Treatment Center represented the recovery community in urging politicians not to legalize drugs.

“The DNC should resist any calls to legalize drugs,” said Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to the Obama Administration and current President of SAM, a bipartisan organization dedicated to implementing science-based marijuana-policies. “The legalization of marijuana is about one thing: the creation of the next Big Tobacco.

The letter details how legalization has resulted in huge spikes in arrests of Colorado youth from communities of color-up 29 percent among Hispanics from 2012 (pre-legalization) to 2014 (post-legalization), and up 58 percent among Black youth in the same timeframe-while arrests of White children fell.  Additionally, there has been a doubling of the percentage of marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Washington in just one year after legalization (2013 to 2014). Emergency poison control calls related to marijuana from 2013 to 2014 in both Colorado and Washington rose, by 72 percent and 56 percent, respectively, and there has been a 15 percent average annual increase in drug and narcotics crime in Denver since 2014.

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Kevin Sabet was interviewed by Arizona radio host Seth Leibsohn on June 21, when he compared the health effects of marijuana to the worst of alcohol and tobacco combined. Arizona is another state targeted for legalization by the marijuana industry in 2016.

 

“The pot lobby has successfully fought off Colorado’s attempts to regulate advertising targeting children, rules restricting the use of pesticides, and rules to limit marijuana potency. This same lobby is now exporting these tactics to other states in November,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President of SAM. “This assault on health and safety regulations is no less than a repeat of Big Tobacco’s tactics from t he 1960s and 1970s.  Parents Opposed to Pot is concerned that the Democratic Party’s platform (as worded) will protect marijuana businesses and their profits at the expense of children and teens.  Legalization policies in Colorado and Washington reveal that businesses can be quite unscrupulous in the way they advertise and locate.  For example, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado is currently operating next door to an “alternative” high school for students with special needs.

 

A draft of the platform could be interpreted by some as an endorsement of marijuana legalization and/or expansion.  The specific wording, as shown in the letter to the DNC Chair and platform committee, is vague.  (Although decriminalization and legalization are not the same thing, many people use these terms interchangeably.)

Parents Opposed to Pot wonders why marijuana, a major drug of abuse, would be promoted during the time of a drug epidemic.  Another section of the platform addressed the opioid drug abuse, but refused to deal with the gateway effects of marijuana and alcohol and to educate accordingly. US government statistics show that at least 66% who overdose began their illicit drug use with marijuana.

Kevin Sabet explains the marijuana industry, “Marketers cleverly package pot candies to make them attractive to kids, and pot shops do nothing to improve neighborhoods and communities. Moreover, there are other, more effective ways to address questions of racial justice and incarceration. So does the DNC want to be known for fostering the next tobacco industry, or will it stand with the scientific community, parents, and public health?”

 

Major anti-drug organizations stand in unity with SAM and against all drug abuse and addiction. Executive officers of the Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), National Families in Action (NFIA), Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA, Community Alliances for Drug-Free Youth (CADFY), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), National Association of Addiction Professionals co-signed the letter, as did Dr. Robert DuPont, Founding Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and President of the Institute of Behavior and Health