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 Push Is about Money, Former Drug Policy Adviser Says during Speech in Billings

Marijuana Legalization Push Is about Money, Former Drug Policy Adviser Says during Speech in Billings

By Jordan Niedermeier, Published: June 10, 2015 at 12:30 AM BILLINGS — A leading opponent of marijuana legalization delivered a three-hour talk on what he says are myths surrounding the drug in Billings on Tuesday. Kevin Sabet, who directs the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and is co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, addressed...
As Pot Becomes Legal, More Kids Eat It

As Pot Becomes Legal, More Kids Eat It

By Jona Ison, Published: June 14, 2015 at 10:01 AM A study released this week found toddlers and infants are being exposed to marijuana nearly 147 percent more often than in 2006, prompting researchers to recommend states take swift action to address child safety when marijuana is legalized. Nationwide Children’s Hospital researchers analyzed data collected in the National...
U.S. Anti-Legalization Group Urges More Access to Marijuana Research

U.S. Anti-Legalization Group Urges More Access to Marijuana Research

By Alex Dobuzinskis, Published: May 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM A group opposed to pot legalization is unveiling proposals on Thursday for the U.S. government to ease restrictions on scientific research into marijuana’s potential as medicine, in a first step for an organization of its kind. The plan from Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which is co-founded by...
Mixed Signals on Marijuana Coming from Vancouver

Mixed Signals on Marijuana Coming from Vancouver

By Ada Slivinski, Published: May 19, 2015 Vancouver is consulting the public on a policy to regulate the illegal storefront sale of marijuana. The only legal way to buy marijuana for medical purposes in the country is through a federally regulated body, Health Canada, and to have it sent by mail. However, since 1997 unregulated stores have been openly...

One Voice Summit: Stoned Truths, the Facts about Marijuana, Is June 10 in Ringoes

By Hunterdon County Democrat, Published: May 18, 2015 at 2:05 PM The week of May 17-23 is National Prevention Week, an annual health observance supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. There are three primary goals of...
Will New AG Change Obama's View on Legal Pot?

Will New AG Change Obama’s View on Legal Pot?

By Ariane de Vogue, Published: May 16, 2015 at 7:17 PM WASHINGTON (CNN) —The Supreme Court is prodding the Justice Department to weigh in — for the first time under Attorney General Loretta Lynch — on the delicate legal issue of how to treat states that have legalized marijuana in the face of a federal ban. It...
Pot Legalization across the Country May Hinge on California Vote

Pot Legalization across the Country May Hinge on California Vote

By Alison Vekshin, Published: May 16, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO — A fight next year over whether to allow recreational marijuana use in California may serve as a tipping point as legalization proponents press their campaign in other states. “A lot of eyes are on California,” said Gavin Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor and a legalization proponent. “It’s...
Legislators Look to Make Push to Legalize Marijuana Difficult

Legislators Look to Make Push to Legalize Marijuana Difficult

By Alan Johnson, Published: May 11, 2015 at 8:14 AM Supporters of three proposals to put legal marijuana in the Ohio Constitution are pushing for a spot on the fall ballot. But there is growing talk of a move by the General Assembly to undercut full legalization. Sources say legislators want to create a more restrictive alternative...
Legal Marijuana Faces Another Federal Hurdle: Taxes

Legal Marijuana Faces Another Federal Hurdle: Taxes

By Jack Healy, Published: May 9, 2015 DENVER — Money was pouring into Bruce Nassau’s five Colorado marijuana shops when his accountant called with the bad news: The 2014 tax season was approaching, and Mr. Nassau could not rely on the galaxy of deductions that other businesses use to reduce their tax bills. He was...
Group Asks the UN Not to Accuse Countries That Legalize Marijuana of Treaty Violations

Group Asks the UN Not to Accuse Countries That Legalize Marijuana of Treaty Violations

By Jonah Bennett, Published: May 6, 2015 at 8:06 PM It’s been almost 20 years since the United Nations conducted a review of global drug policies, and the process kicks off again Thursday. This time, 100 organizations have signed a letter requesting the intergovernmental body lets countries legalize marijuana without being accused of violating treaty provisions. The coalition...

Marketing of Marijuana

By Kevin Sabet and Patrick Kennedy, Published: May 5, 2015 To the Editor: Re “The Perils of Smokeless Tobacco” (editorial, April 23) and “It’s Time to Regulate E-Cigarettes,” by David A. Kessler and Matthew L. Myers (Op-Ed, April 23): We applaud your editorial and Op-Ed essay for highlighting the rise in electronic cigarette use among high...

New England States Racing to Legalize Recreational Pot

By Gillian Graham, Published: May 3, 2015 at 4:00 PM Propelled by successful campaigns in Western states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, some advocates and legislators say a marijuana legalization race is developing in New England, with millions of dollars in tax revenue riding on the outcome. Lawmakers in five of the six...