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
Marijuana Legalization: Should Bernie Sanders’ Home State Embrace Socialized Cannabis?

Marijuana Legalization: Should Bernie Sanders’ Home State Embrace Socialized Cannabis?

By Joel Warner, Published January 24, 216 at 8:10 AM As one of Vermont’s approximately 2,500 official medical marijuana patients, Robert Gwynn is excited his state lawmakers are considering legalizing cannabis. Born with neurofibromatosis type 1, a tumor disorder that has left him with debilitating nerve pain, limited appetite and ongoing fatigue, the 31-year-old has...
Marijuana Has Become A Media Darling, But Are Journalists Too Soft On Pot?

Marijuana Has Become A Media Darling, But Are Journalists Too Soft On Pot?

By Joel Warner, Published: January 10, 2016 at 1:45 PM On the evening of Thursday, Dec. 17, Kevin Sabet was working on what he believed would be a bombshell. Sabet, founder of the anti-marijuana legalization organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), had received a tip from someone associated with the Obama administration: State marijuana-use estimates...
First medical marijuana dispensaries open in New York

First medical marijuana dispensaries open in New York

By Mahita Gajanan and Ellen Brait, Published: January 7, 2016 The first medical marijuana dispensaries in New York state opened on Thursday, as the state became the latest to launch a comprehensive program for certified patients to legally obtain and use cannabis to treat severe illnesses. The first dispensary opened its doors in Manhattan’s bustling...

Drug policy expert to Pomona forum: Make marijuana legitimate, putting it in pharmacy

By Monica Rodriguez, Published: January 06, 2016 at 11:24 PM PST POMONA >> Marijuana for medicinal use is a complex issue, the head of national volunteer group that seeks to educate the public on the science of marijuana and promote health-minded policies that reduce marijuana use told a group in Pomona Wednesday evening. Some components...
Kevin Sabet Is The Marijuana Movement's Biggest Threat, But Can He Really Stop 'Big Pot'?

Kevin Sabet Is The Marijuana Movement’s Biggest Threat, But Can He Really Stop ‘Big Pot’?

By Joel Warner, Published: December 09, 2015 at 8:02 AM BETHESDA, Maryland — Kevin Sabet, the man Salon called the quarterback of the new anti-drug movement, the guy Rolling Stone labeled the No. 1 enemy of marijuana legalization, the 36-year-old political wunderkind whom High Times has declared the devil himself, takes the stage in a sprawling conference hall at...
Legalized Pot: No, It’s Not Inevitable

Legalized Pot: No, It’s Not Inevitable

By Kevin Sabet The marijuana movement received a big jolt last November. No, it wasn’t another celebrity endorsement or cable news special glorifying the drug. Rather, in the midst of what we’ve been told was an inevitable march to victory, marijuana lost. And it lost big. Many of us interested in this off-year Ohio race...

Top 10 Anti-Marijuana Legalization Policy Victories of 2015

By Kevin Sabet, Published: December 27, 2015 at 06:39 PM EST 2015 will be remembered as the year legalization hit bumps most supporters never anticipated. For pro-health advocates that oppose marijuana legalization, it was a year of fantastic victories! Here are the top 10: 10. Big Marijuana is Real — and People are Writing About...
Survey: Teens still intrigued by e-cigarettes

Survey: Teens still intrigued by e-cigarettes

By Taylor Maycan, Published: December 16, 2015 at 11:12 AM Cigarette use among teens hit an all-time low, but their fascination with e-cigarettes remains strong, a national survey of nearly 45,000 youth found. The students surveyed favored e-cigarettes, which heat liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled, over traditional cigarettes.  And more than half of them credited curiosity as their...
U.S. Postal Service to newspapers: your marijuana ads are illegal

U.S. Postal Service to newspapers: your marijuana ads are illegal

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, Published: December 04, 2015 While ‘neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night’ will stop the U.S. Postal Service from delivering the mail, that promise apparently doesn’t apply to Oregon newspapers that carry marijuana ads — despite marijuana being legal in the state. A recent USPS memo issued out...
This Is What’s Really Interesting About Ohio’s Vote Against Marijuana

This Is What’s Really Interesting About Ohio’s Vote Against Marijuana

By Emily Dufton, Published: November 11, 2015 When polling stations closed last week, the response to Ohio’s rejection of Issue 3 came fast and furious in local and national news. “Ohioans did the right thing on Tuesday by overwhelmingly rejecting a deeply flawed marijuana legalization ballot initiative,” Vikas Bajaj wrote in the New York Times....
The Truth About Prescription Pot

The Truth About Prescription Pot

By Kevin Sabet Just this past week, fresh off an event with President Obama, Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Chuck Rosenberg surprised some by stating some frank words about “medical” marijuana. “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” he said. “There are pieces of marijuana — extracts,...
Hillary Clinton makes a small shift on marijuana; would not impact Oregon pot sales

Hillary Clinton makes a small shift on marijuana; would not impact Oregon pot sales

By Jeff Mapes, Published: November 09, 2015 at 1:31 PM Hillary Clinton’s new proposal to loosen federal research restrictions on marijuana wouldn’t immediately affect Oregon and other states that have legalized recreational use of the drug. But it does signal that the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race is moving toward a more pro-marijuana approach...