Clear thinking about drug policy
Director, Drug Policy Institute and Assistant Professor, University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
President, Policy Solutions Group, Inc.
About

About

From 2009-2011, I served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Now I am a consultant working with governments, NGOs, the media, and other organizations on a wide range of drug policy issues. My areas of specialization include evidence-based drug prevention, treatment, and law enforcement (both domestic and international), as well as the impacts of drug legalization and “medical” marijuana.
Drug Policy Principles

Drug Policy Principles

I am often asked where I stand on the “drug war.” A more constructive exercise would be to list some ways drug policy could be improved. Here, I briefly state what I think about drugs and why.
Latest entries
No Approved ‘Medicine’ in Marijuana

No Approved ‘Medicine’ in Marijuana

By The Gazette, Published: March 25, 2015 at 5:46 AM Dr. Stuart Gitlow, a physician serving as president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, does not mince words: “There is no such thing at this point as medical marijuana,” he said. It’s a point he has made routinely for the past decade, as advocates for...
Medical Marijuana Industry Still Growing in Colorado

Medical Marijuana Industry Still Growing in Colorado

By The Gazette, Published: March 25, 2015 at 5:50 AM Colorado made headlines worldwide when recreational marijuana went on sale to the public in January 2014. News organizations descended on the Centennial State to document, and hype, the advent of legalized retail pot. The act of applying for and opening a retail pot business became reality-TV...
Lawmakers Weed out Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers Weed out Medical Marijuana

By Charles Talcott, Published: March 26, 2015 Blunting the progress of medical marijuana programs that have been legalized nationwide — nearly two dozen in total — North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday voted to kill a proposal that would have launched a medical cannabis program in the state. After an hour of testimony from military veterans and cancer...
Teen: Colorado Voters Were Duped into Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Teen: Colorado Voters Were Duped into Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

By The Gazette, Published: March 24, 2015 at 8:42 AM Nineteen-year-old Kaleb is 41 days and seven hours sober when he sits down for a long conversation about his marijuana addiction. Two more months, his treatment providers tell him, and he’ll likely be able to deliver his first clean drug test in many years showing no...
Legalization Didn't Unclog Prisons

Legalization Didn’t Unclog Prisons

By The Gazette, Published: March 23, 2015 at 5:32 AM Of all the misunderstandings about marijuana’s impact on the country, perhaps none is greater than the belief that America’s courts, prisons and jails are clogged with people whose only offense was marijuana use. This is the perception, but statistics show few inmates are behind bars strictly...
Marijuana Legalization Opponent Kevin Sabet Brings His Message to Oregon

Marijuana Legalization Opponent Kevin Sabet Brings His Message to Oregon

By Noelle Crombie, Published: January 17, 2014 at 5:14 AM The country’s most high-profile anti-marijuana spokesman brought his message to Oregon this week, warning that legalizing the drug will boost addiction rates, hook young people and enrich a powerful marijuana lobby. Kevin Sabet is scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. Friday before the Oregon Senate and House...
Colorado Sold Almost 75 Tons of Pot and 5 Million Edibles in 2014

Colorado Sold Almost 75 Tons of Pot and 5 Million Edibles in 2014

By Josiah M. Hesse, Published: March 3, 2015 On Friday, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division released its first annual report on the state’s regulated pot industry, offering comprehensive data on the sale, licensing, taxing and investigations of weed in 2014. While there have been plenty of newspaper polls and think-tank studies on the subject, no organization has previously had access...

Obama Says Legalizing Marijuana Is Not a Panacea, “Do We Feel the Same Way about Crack?”

By Kevin Sabet, Published: March 17, 2015 at 4:59 PM Today, in an interview with Vice News, President Obama was given a softball question about legalization that he easily could have taken. I’m happy he didn’t take the bait. In fact, he made some of his most lengthy comments to date about substance abuse, particularly legalization....
Does the Kinsley Ave Fire Help or Hurt Marijuana Legalization in RI?

Does the Kinsley Ave Fire Help or Hurt Marijuana Legalization in RI?

By Kate Nagle, Published: March 24, 2015 Will the fire at Kinsley Avenue in Providence, which is alleged to have had highly flammable butane present for hash oil production, have an impact on marijuana legalization efforts in the state? Legislation was introduced on March 6 at the State Housefor the tax and regulation of marijuana — where...
Crime Is up in Colorado: What That Tells Us about Pot Legalization and, Perhaps More Importantly, Lazy Reporting

Crime Is up in Colorado: What That Tells Us about Pot Legalization and, Perhaps More Importantly, Lazy Reporting

By Kevin Sabet, Published: October 11, 2014 at 5:59 AM How goes Colorado’s experience with legal marijuana? Spend some time on social media or on numerous blogs and you’ll read headlines like “Revenue Up, Crime Down!” or “Youth Use Declining After Legalization.” In this short blog series, I will tackle different topics that have been...
Colorado Marijuana Study Finds Legal Weed Contains Potent THC Levels

Colorado Marijuana Study Finds Legal Weed Contains Potent THC Levels

By Bill Briggs, Published: March 23, 2015 at 5:04 AM This is not your father’s weed. Colorado marijuana is nearly twice as potent as illegal pot of past decades, and some modern cannabis packs triple the punch of vintage ganja, lab tests reveal for the first time. In old-school dope, levels of THC — the psychoactive...
Meet the Man Trying to Halt Marijuana Legalization

Meet the Man Trying to Halt Marijuana Legalization

By German Lopez, Published: March 20, 2015 at 8:30 AM Kevin Sabet has become synonymous with the opposition to marijuana legalization in the US. As a former drug policy adviser to the White House and co-founder, with Patrick Kennedy, of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Sabet has long acted as a major counterpoint to pro-legalization groups like the Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy...