GLOBAL: Proscribing Pot Physician Proved Profoundly Correct on Cannabis Curse!

Eight years ago, this obituary of  Dr Gabriel Nahas appeared in by a pot advocate.

“Nahas led a group of researchers who testified that marijuana may cause lung damage, birth defects, genetic abnormalities, shrinkage of the brain, impairment of the immune system, reduction in testosterone levels, and sterility. With the exception of lung damage related to smoking (which is not a serious risk for occasional users and can be avoided through oral ingestion or the use of vaporizers), all of these alleged hazards proved to be exaggerated or unfounded.”

The author was somewhat charitable to Dr. Nahas by acknowledging he “was telling what they believe to be the truth in the service of goals they consider noble. Although reformers have long viewed Nahas as a leading villain in the drama of the drug war, he was a hero in the fight against the Nazis, a demonstrably courageous man with strong convictions that were sadly mistaken.”

That is high praise from an adversary.  The interesting part is that Dr. Nahas was not mistaken. In fact, almost all of his ideas that were ridiculed have been replicated by recent research. I included hyperlinks in the text above that connect to recent research that shows how right Dr. Nahas was. He was way ahead of his time, and he did most of his research before CB receptors were discovered.

BMJ Obituary

Submitted by Dr R.K… New York State

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USA: ‘Ganjapreneurs’ Frothing at the Mouth, and not just from Toxic Weed Either!

Mike Crapo wisely puts children before cannabis profits

Washington Examiner – January 28, 2020

The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act has prompted a green rush in the halls of Congress.

In the first nine months of 2019, the marijuana industry spent more than $3.8 million lobbying Congress, according to OpenSecrets — employing a total of 80 lobbyists. That put the industry on track to spend far more on lobbyists in 2019 than in the previous two years combined.

Yet it’s a modest investment considering the potential payout. If enacted, the SAFE Banking Act is expected to drive billions of dollars of new investment into this rapidly evolving sector.

That investment will bring high investor expectations for big, sustained profits. We’ve learned from Big Tobacco and the nation’s tragic opioid crisis that intense investor pressures can result in aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics that threaten the health of consumers.

It was a buzzkill for industry advocates when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, said in December he is uncomfortable moving the bill forward without stricter safeguards for children, among other protections.

Marijuana promoters have been loudly expressing their displeasure.

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children from the harms of marijuana commercialization, we want to thank Crapo for his courage in standing up for the health and welfare of youths, whose interests too often have been ignored in this important debate.

Crapo’s specific concerns include “the high-level potency of marijuana, marketing tactics to children, [and] lack of research on marijuana’s effects.”

America’s children can’t afford millions of dollars in lobbying. But they just have one chance to grow up, and if we adults don’t look out for them, our nation will pay the price for generations to come.

SAFE Banking Act promoters say the bill will make marijuana dispensaries safer by reducing their reliance on cash. That’s a worthy goal, but while we’re protecting industry workers, let’s make sure we also protect children.

Our nonprofit organization doesn’t weigh in on the question of whether marijuana should be legal for adults. But we think everyone, including the marijuana industry, should agree that we must do everything in our power to keep it away from children.

We’ve seen the harm it can cause firsthand.

In Colorado, the first state to legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana, children now are barraged with ads for ultrapotent marijuana distillates used in vape pens (often flavored) and dab rigs, which can contain nearly pure THC. Unsurprisingly, the state has recorded statistically significant increases in youths using intensely potent products.

Quite simply, this is not their parents’ marijuana.

That’s why it was especially important that Crapo highlighted the threat of rising potency to children. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that frequent marijuana use during adolescence is associated with:

Changes in the areas of the brain involved in attention, memory, decision-making, and motivation

  • Impaired learning, including declines in IQ and school performance
  • Increased rates of school absence, dropping out, and suicide attempts
  • And the risk for psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia

Whatever you think of adult use of marijuana, this threat to children can’t be ignored.

Yeah, we get it. Raising concerns about marijuana’s risks to children may seem uncool when “ganjapreneurs” are seeing a new kind of green with huge potential paydays. But this is a moment when the adults have to be the responsible ones. That’s why we’re grateful for Crapo’s leadership at this key juncture.

We firmly believe that, when we look back at this moment years and decades from now, history will honor Sen. Crapo for putting children before marijuana industry profits.

Diane Carlson is co-founder and national policy director of Smart Colorado, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting the health, safety, and well-being of the youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized.

For complete story go to

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USA: Legalizing Pot Has Lethal Consequences!


Toddler’s death highlights how marijuana use becomes abuse

Jesse James Bullard’s sweet smile lit the world of all those with whom he came in contact, but he lost his life abruptly on January 22.   His father, Isaac, smoked a marijuana “dab” that morning, backed his car out and ran over the baby boy.  Jesse was was about a month shy of his second birthday.  But this was Colorado, and health officials don’t find parents’ marijuana habits unusual.

Popular magazines and newspapers publish articles which promote marijuana for moms and dads.  Newspapers – with some notable exceptions — are reluctant to report about the true dangers of marijuana.

For five years, we’ve warning that parents’ and caregivers’ pot use puts young children in danger.  Two weeks after Colorado opened recreational pot shops in 2014, Levi Welton’s parents smoked pot with friends, while their two-year-old was in another room.  Levi died in a fire, which he tried to escape by hiding in the closet.

Parenting and pot use don’t mix. One joint impairs far more than a glass of wine or beer. Wake n bakers lose track of time, people and responsibility.  Isaac Bullard remembered the dog and diaper bag, but he forgot to put his son in the car to go to the sitter.  When asked how “high” he was, the father said he said he was only 2 or 3 on a scale of 10.

Legalization encourages wake ‘n bake

After a state legalizes marijuana, some casual marijuana users become diehard abusers.  The commercial industry manufactures stronger and more potent products.   Many of those suffering from addiction have no idea how impaired they are.   So if Isaac Bullard was only a 2 or 3, we shudder to think how impaired he’d be as a 10.

When Bullard was arrested, police discovered an elaborate marijuana grow operation of 79 plants and a butane hash oil extraction lab.

Jesse’s mom won’t let his memory die

Last March, Tamlin Bullard realized her husband was not going to put the family ahead of his drug.  Isaac Bullard moved to Colorado to follow his marijuana dream.  She separated from the father, but a lawyer advised her that she must allow visitation, even while he was in Colorado.

Keeping drugs illegal is a “harm reduction” policy.  Legalizing a drug legitimizes its use, and turns good people into problem users.  For that reason, we will always fight against legalization. Since the first votes to legalize marijuana in 2012, we’ve found news accounts of 220 child fatalities related to marijuana.  It’s a problem throughout the country, but more pronounced in legalization states.

Comparisons with alcohol

Marijuana advocates love to stress dangers of alcohol when arguing in favor of marijuana legalization.  However, the number of drivers impaired by both marijuana and alcohol increases with legalization.  Because stoned drivers are more likely to drive during the day, children, pedestrians and bicyclists face a greater risk.

Recent reports issued by Texas, Florida and Arizona show that marijuana, by far, is the leading substance associated with child abuse death cases. In states that track the substance associated with child abuse and neglect, marijuana leads the pack, ahead of alcohol and all other drugs.  A number of the hot car deaths in recent years resulted from parents’ neglect when they were high on marijuana.

Pediatric exposures to marijuana in states with legalization produce dangerous altered mental states in children. The article describes three cases in Washington.

Dr. Ed Gogek, author of Marijuana Debunked says upwards of 70% of child abuse cases are related to substance abuse. Colorado, Washington, California and other legalization have opened up a Pandora’s Box of problems.  How can anyone believe that an individual’s freedom to use a drug is more important than the life of a child?

See Article “Yes, Pot Does Kill!”


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USA: S.A.M – Weed Wacking Roundup!

News Roundup

February 2020
Here is a brief rundown of marijuana news as well as an update on what we have been up to over the last month.  

New Study: Marijuana Impaired Traffic Deaths Doubled in Washington State Following Legalization
A  new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  found the percentage of drivers in Washington State involved in fatal car crashes testing positive for marijuana has doubled since the state “legalized” marijuana for recreational use in 2012.

According to the study, Washington drivers involved in fatal car crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased from 9 percent in the five-year period prior to legalization to around 18 percent in the five-year period after legalization. What’s more, the study found that about one in five drivers involved in fatal car crashes in 2017 tested positive for marijuana.
“Marijuana-impaired driving is rising across all states that have ‘legalized’ marijuana and this study is further confirmation of an alarming trend,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)

New DEA Report: Marijuana Legalization Benefits Criminal Drug Traffickers
A  comprehensive report  released by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) finds that the illicit marijuana market is increasing in states that have “legalized” the substance; growing operations-that often occur on public lands-present a significant draw on resources and a dramatic threat to local environments; and criminal organizations are using revenue from marijuana production to fund further criminal activity in the country.
In its conclusion, the report states that “domestic production and trafficking of marijuana will likely increase as more states adopt or change current marijuana laws to establish medical or recreational marijuana markets, allowing criminals to exploit state legality.”
“While the proponents of marijuana legalization claim in every state capitol that marijuana commercialization will eradicate the underground market, wresting the profits from the drug out of the hands of criminals and into state coffers, reality has proven this to be categorically false,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “As this report shows, not only has legalization failed to do away with the underground market, it has only served to make it stronger and more profitable for criminal organizations.”

Policy Groups Send Coalition Letter Thanking Senator Mike Crapo for Slowing Marijuana Banking Legislation
CDC DATA: Over 130 Cases of Vaping Illness Victims Purchased Products Exclusively From “Commercial Sources”
A broad coalition of national and state policy groups  sent a letter to United States Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) expressing their concerns with the SAFE Banking Act and thanking Senator Crapo for slowing down what seemed at first to be a rushed process to grant the marijuana industry access to the federal banking system.
“In light of the  Surgeon General’s Advisory (on marijuana)  and the  marijuana vaping crisis , it would be irresponsible to change the law in ways that encourage increased investment in the marijuana industry without any guardrails for public health, particularly when no other legislation regulating the public health impact of marijuana is likely to pass” said the letter, signed by groups such as SAM Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Heritage Action, Family Policy Alliance, and the Drug Free America Foundation.
“We want to thank Senator Crapo for slowing down the rush on this bill,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “We know millions of dollars are being spent in an attempt to ram this bill through Congress and given the massive potentials for harm, the risks are too great.”
I n a massive release of data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it has been confirmed that out of 809 patients reporting data on the source of the marijuana products use prior to becoming sick, 131 reported purchasing products exclusively from commercial sources.
What’s more, 627 reported products from “informal sources” such as friends, family, in-person, or online dealers. Given that it is a common issue for “legal” products to be purchased at dispensaries and redirected to the illicit market, the number of illnesses linked to ‘legal’ products could be much higher.
“The data are clear on two fronts: ‘legal,’ licensed products cannot be conclusively stated as safe – as Big Marijuana’s lobbyists have so desperately tried to do – and legalization has only served to make the underground market more dangerous,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “The significance of this data release cannot be understated.”

New Study: Youth Marijuana Addiction Rates 25 Percent Higher in “Legalized States”
A study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that rates of marijuana addiction among teens (12-17) in states that have “legalized” marijuana were 25 percent higher than in states that have not legalized the substance. Among adults (26 or older), past-month use rates were 26 percent higher. What’s more, past-month frequent use and past-year problematic use among this age group increased by 23 percent and 37 percent respectively.
“Legalization has allowed Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana to relentlessly market and normalize highly potent marijuana. While much of the data on marijuana is still out, we do know that increased availability leads to increased use, which leads to increased rates of addiction,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “Legalization efforts are sending the message that marijuana use is safe and state sanctioned. No amount of marijuana use is safe for young people and more must be done to halt its normalization.”

Marijuana Industry Supporters Use House Hearing on Marijuana Research to Call for Federal Legalization
SAM New York Responds to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade.” Witnesses included government officials skeptical of the widespread normalization of marijuana. By contrast, marijuana industry supporters in Congress are using the hearing as a springboard for industry-backed legislation that would bypass the research process entirely by legalizing the drug at the federal level.
Dr. Kevin Sabet  submitted  written testimony   to the committee and released a statement in response to the hearing:
Congress should listen hard to the serious concerns about marijuana that our government’s top scientists will entail. The move to legalize marijuana has gone far ahead of the science surrounding the drug. This is evident by the ongoing marijuana vaping crisis and should be cause for concern for lawmakers at both the state and federal level.
Of course, we should also favor expanded research to further the scientific knowledge of marijuana, especially since today’s highly potent products have not been adequately studied. Given what we already know about low potency marijuana, it’s time to hit pause on advancing the commercialization and use of this drug. “
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his annual State of the State Address in Albany.
In his address, the governor repeated his call from last year to pass a bill legalizing the commercial sale of marijuana. The legislature failed to pass a bill accomplishing this last year due to the efforts of Smart Approaches to Marijuana New York (SAM New York).
” At a time when Governor Cuomo is calling for bans to hold the vaping industry responsible, he must abandon a push to expand the industry responsible for more than 80% of the vaping illnesses and deaths. Marijuana legalization only serves to enrich Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of the health and safety of New Yorkers. We call on the governor to listen to public health and safety associations across the state, including the Medical Society and county health officials who, for the last year, have denounced the push for legalization
“As a result of hard work and coalition building, we were able to defeat this effort in the last session, and we will continue to work to prevent further harms and halt any effort to legalize, commercialize, and promote the use of marijuana. The risks are too great.”

Three States + Three Press Conferences = One Big Day for SAM

SAM affiliates held press conferences around the country recently, denoucing pushes to legalize marijuana.
In New Mexico, a coalition of public health and safety groups, business groups, and representatives of New Mexico state law enforcement gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to announce their united opposition to legalization and urge lawmakers to once again defeat an effort to legalize marijuana.
In New York, a  group of concerned New Yorkers gathered in front of NYS Senator Pete Harckham’s District Office to host a press conference urging Senator Harckham to join the majority of public health and safety organizations in NYS and oppose the passage of any bill creating a commercial marijuana industry in New York.
SAM affiliates also convened in Virginia, where state legislators are beginning to consider language for recreational marijuana legalization. There, SAM Community Outreach and Communications Associate, Will Jones, presented the social justice case against  legalization.

State-Based Drug Use Survey Finds Marijuana Use Skyrocketing in “Legal” States
Benchmark Youth Drug Use Survey Finds Marijuana Vaping Has Doubled, Daily Use Significantly Increased
State-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), finds that marijuana use in “legal” states among youth, young adults, and the general population continued its multi-year upward trend in several categories.
Additionally, use rates in “legal” states continue to drastically outstrip the use in states that have not legalized the drug.
” This data show the marijuana industry is achieving its goal of hooking our kids on today’s highly potent marijuana,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “As we learned just this week from the Monitoring the Future survey, the number of young people who perceive marijuana as being harmful is at a historic low. Given the recent data linking high potency marijuana with serious mental health issues, addiction, and future substance abuse, this is extremely concerning.
“We call on Congress and the President now to stop helping the pot industry and commence a science based information campaign about the dangers of today’s marijuana products.”
Daily marijuana use and marijuana vaping has significantly increased in the last year according to new data from the largest, most comprehensive drug use survey of students in the United States. The  2019 Monitoring the Future survey , compiled by researchers at the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institutes of Health, is the benchmark for student drug use in the country.
According to the survey, marijuana vaping among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders has more than doubled since 2017 and daily marijuana use among 8th and 10th graders has seen a significant increase since 2018. More than one fifth of 12th and 10th graders reported using marijuana in the past year and the doubling of past month use in high school seniors constitutes the second largest one-year increase in drug use recorded by the Monitoring the Future survey.
“This survey is an astonishing reflection of the failure of marijuana normalization and commercialization to keep our kids safe,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former three-time White House Drug Policy Advisor. “These are some of the largest increases ever recorded, and it is clear marijuana promotion driven by today’s for profit pot industry is to blame.”

Billboards and Other Large Advertisements
Interested in really making a splash on the marijuana issue ?  Use our artwork on a billboard, bus ad, building-sized poster, or other installation that is sure to draw public attention, and maybe even media coverage! We have successfully used billboards such as the one above to drive media and policymakers’ attention to the harms of marijuana legalization and you can, too!
Contact us at  [email protected]  to jump-start your marijuana awareness work.

Registration is now open for the  The 2020 SAM Summit  taking place in Nashville, TN alongside the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.  This is the perfect option for interested and concerned parties to learn more about what the current research says about the negative effects of marijuana normalization on public health and safety.


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.
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Nigeria: As Goes Drug Use, So Goes Mental Health – Increase one and the other follows!

‘Access to psychoactive substances fuelling increase in mental cases’

February 2, 2020

DR Jide Raji, a psychiatric consultant (with specialty in Forensic Psychiatry) works with the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. He is of the opinion that mental health disorder is on the rise in our society because of access to psychoactive substances.

He stated: “In the time past, there were no access to psychoactive substances, but these days, the rate and manner young people and adults alike access psychoactive substances is on the increase. Secondly, there are so many unrest due to violence, war…; people are coming down with mental disorder ranging from acute stress reaction etc due to displacement, having to leave their traditional home, loss of means of livelihood, loss of loved ones, having to start all over again, economic hardship whereby people don’t have access to good nutrition, good food, education, adequate healthcare system etc.

According to Raji, “The issue of children with mental health disorder is on the rise globally and Nigeria is not left out. Compared to about ten years ago when the Child/Adolescent section of this hospital was set up, patronage has risen so much that doctors there are presently overworked. But again, looking at the environment, out of every 3-4 families, one has been able to identify 1-2 children with mental health disorder ranging from autism, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder etc. Hence, the rate of increase in mental health disorder among children is high. Easy accessibility to these drugs by young ones is also high; even the very rich are not exempted.

“According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, 1 out of 4 Nigerian has mental disorder and about 1 in 4 will still experience mental illness in their lifetime. In addition, mental illness accounts for 13% of the total disability experienced in the world; and it is expected to increase to 15%  this 2020.”

For complete article go to

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Alaska: Shhhush! Don’t include Weed in Survey!

Substance misuse cost Alaska about $3.5 billion in 2018, study says

JUNEAU — Substance misuse in Alaska cost the state about $3.5 billion in 2018 in resulting health care, productivity loss, criminal justice, traffic accidents and other services, a yearlong study said.

The McDowell Group, contracted by the state Mental Health Trust Authority, found that $2.4 billion was related to alcohol abuse and $1.1 billion was related to drug abuse, Juneau Empire reported Friday.

Health officials define substance misuse as the use of illegal drugs or inappropriate use of alcohol or prescription drugs.

[Read the report: Economic costs of substance use disorders in Alaska, 2019 update]

“We see the impact of substance misuse every hour of every day in our ER,” said Bradley Grigg, the chief behavioral health officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital. “The cost is enormous. From alcohol to opiates to methamphetamine to other substances, we are seeing the effects of substance misuse in every part of our hospital.”

Alaska residents consumed 14 million gallons of beer, 2.4 million gallons of wine, and 1.8 million gallons of liquor during the one-year survey period, the study said.

About 22,000 residents who reported using illegal drugs in the previous year were also surveyed. Of those surveyed, 14,000 reported using cocaine, 5,000 reported using methamphetamine and 3,000 reported using heroin, the study said. Marijuana was not part of the survey because it is legal in state. (BUT THEY INCLUDED THE LEGAL DRUG OF ALCOHOL IN SURVEY!!!! What’s going on here???)

“The majority of calls we go on are related to drugs and alcohol,” Juneau Police Lt. Krag Campbell said.

Drug and alcohol can lead to interactions with law enforcement and emergency services, and driving while impaired can lead to arrests and crashes, which each have associated costs, Campbell said.

Health care costs was the highest associated cost for substance misuse at $1.3 billion, the study said.

“Substance misuse treatment is a really big piece of what we do and who we are,” Grigg said about the hospital. “We recognize the need and the need is overwhelming.”

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USA: Help Prevent Pot Pernicious Propaganda that is Harming Your Communities

Dear Community Care and Advocate,
Marijuana legalization is threatening public health and safety across the country. But these truths are hidden and distorted by the commercial marijuana industry.
SAM’s flagship publication is our annual Impact Report that curates data from government sources and peer-reviewed scientific journals about the negative impacts of marijuana legalization at the state level. SAM distributes this highly regarded publication to lawmakers, media, and other influencers to promote sensible, evidence-based marijuana policies.
In 2020, our Impact Report will include deeper analysis of the impact of marijuana legalization on states as well as new content sections on marijuana vaping, potency, poly-substance use and substance use, and the growing opt-out movement at the local level.
We need your support to develop our 2020 Impact Report.

Two generous SAM donors have agreed to match any gifts that we raise up to $10,000.
Please consider making a generous gift. Your support will ensure science – not greed – drives marijuana policies across the country.
Thanks for all you do,
Dr. Kevin Sabet,
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana
P.S. A gift of any amount will count towards our matching gift campaign for our 2020 Impact Report.
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USA: Washington State Drug Driving Doubles Since Legalization Weed

New Study: Marijuana Impaired Traffic Deaths Doubled in Washington State Following Legalization 
(Alexandria, VA) – Today, a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the percentage of drivers in Washington State involved in fatal car crashes testing positive for marijuana has doubled since the state “legalized” marijuana for recreational use in 2012.
“Marijuana-impaired driving is rising across all states that have ‘legalized’ marijuana and this study is further confirmation of an alarming trend,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “The marijuana industry, heavily invested in by Big Tobacco, has used irresponsible rhetoric, pushing the narrative that marijuana use is safe, which has led to more people using the drug and getting behind the wheel of a car.”
According to the study, Washington drivers involved in fatal car crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased from 9 percent in the five-year period prior to legalization to around 18 percent in the five-year period after legalization. What’s more, the study found that about one in five drivers involved in fatal car crashes in 2017 tested positive for marijuana.
According to a  2018 report out of Colorado , marijuana-related traffic deaths involving increased 151% following legalization and more than one in five traffic deaths in the state were marijuana-related, mirroring the results of this AAA study of Washington drivers.
“Last year, more than a dozen states rejected legalization, largely due to concerns over drugged driving,” continued Dr. Sabet. “It’s time for lawmakers nationwide to take a deep breath and seriously consider the implications of the further expansion of the commercial marijuana industry.”
About SAM:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is the nation’s leading nonpartisan, non-profit public health alliance of concerned citizens and professionals who oppose marijuana legalization and support science-backed marijuana policies. SAM and its 30+ state affiliates have successfully prevented marijuana legalization in dozens of state legislatures and at the ballot box.
Guided by a Scientific Advisory Board of scientists from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, University of Colorado, and other esteemed  institutions , SAM educates the public on  cutting edge science : marijuana is harmful, addictive, and legalization creates social injustice and expands illicit market activity.
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USA: S.A.M. Kicking Goals Against Big Tobacco 2.0 – Big Pot!

Yesterday was a big day for SAM.
Our state affiliates and allies held press conferences in three states, to call on state lawmakers to seriously evaluate the dangers of marijuana legalization.
In New Mexico, our new affiliate in the state, SAM New Mexico was joined by concerned citizens from a variety of organizations such as the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Family Policy Alliance, and the County Sheriff’s Association to announce their united opposition to legalization as lawmakers begin to consider a bill that would legalize the drug.
In New York, following state Senator Pete Harckham’s reversal of his previous opposition to legalization, SAM supporters held a news conference outside the senator’s office to raise awareness and protest his position.
Russell Kamer, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at New York Medical College, and a constituent of Sen. Harckham’s, questioned the logic behind addressing drug abuse through a state-sanctioned recreational drug market.
SAM affiliates also convened in Virginia, where state legislators are beginning to consider language for recreational marijuana legalization. SAM Community Outreach and Communications Associate, Will Jones, presented the social justice case against  legalization.

We are working harder than ever to turn the tide against Big Pot, please consider chipping into the fight today with a gift to SAM by clicking here

Thanks for all you do,

Dr. Kevin Sabet,

Founder and President – Smart Approaches to Marijuana

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Global: Want the Word of What Weed is Really Doing? This Course is For EVERYONE!



“…To further enhance your knowledge, personal development and ability to assist in marijuana prevention efforts.”

Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. is an Educator, Writer, Strategist, Online Publisher (including ), and Instructor of three online courses offered by  Auburn University Outreach. The courses include the following:

  • “The Effects and Impacts of Marijuana Use ~ Policies and Approaches Addressing the Challenges”
  • “A National Public Health Disaster: Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis~ The Role that Marijuana Use and Legalization are Playing” and
  • “Transforming and Leading Organizations and Organized Efforts”

Further information concerning these online courses is included here and can also be found at .

In a message that he disseminated widely throughout the world on February 5, 2020,  Herschel Baker, the Director Drug Free Australia (Queensland Branch) and the International Liaison Director for Drug Free Australia ( and [email protected]) wrote the following:

“Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. web site has very important research papers, references and (courses regarding marijuana and the) Opioid Crisis…. to further enhance your knowledge, personal development and ability to assist in marijuana prevention efforts…” 

The courses that Hershel Baker refers to are described here:

  •  “The Effects and Impacts of Marijuana Use ~ Policies and Approaches Addressing the Challenges”: A Three-Week Online Course Offered by Auburn University Outreach (Six Offerings in 2020).

Offerings in 2020:

  • March 9 – 29, 2020;  
  • May 4 – 24, 2020;  
  • July 6 – 26, 2020;
  • August 3 -23, 2020;
  • September 7 – 27, 2020; and
  • October 5- 25, 2020 

What are the effects and impacts of today’s high THC content marijuana? The latest findings are provided in this course. The course is designed to help expand the knowledge and understanding of those who are working to address the challenges of recreational drug use and addiction.  The course is also designed to help inform policy makers and others in roles of public responsibility of the harmful effects that marijuana use is having. The course is designed as well to help increase the knowledge and understanding of parents, educators, researchers, and all others concerned regarding the harmful effects of marijuana and the substantial negative impacts its use has on individuals, families, communities, and society in general. The effects of marijuana on mental health, the connection with violence, and the effects on the human reproductive systems and on progeny are highlighted. 1 in 6 youth who use and 1 in 10 adult users are becoming addicted. The course should be helpful to policy makers and educators as well as users or would be users. Policy and program options that are working are highlighted. The role that use is playing in the opioid epidemic is highlighted.

Registration Fee: $300

A discount of 10% is available to groups of five or more. Register at and or call (334) 844-5100. Also see

The course is being taught on a pass/not pass basis. It is not taught in “real time” which means that those taking the course can complete assignments each week when it is convenient for them to do so. It is not necessary to be online at specific times each week.

The course is offered by the Office of Professional and Continuing Education of Auburn University Outreach. The course has been designed to help arm those who are concerned about the harmful effects of marijuana and about the negative individual and societal impacts of the legalization of marijuana is having on individuals, families, communities, and on society. The course has also been designed to help expand the knowledge and understanding of those who are working to address the problem of recreational drug use and addiction in America so that they can be as successful as possible in their efforts. The course is also designed to help those in the position of public responsibility understand what policy and program options have been working and what options might be tried to achieve the hoped-for outcome of turning around current trends involving the use marijuana in America.

Here are some additional particulars about the course: Participants in the course will study material drawn from a wide range of freely accessible resources including among others, the instructor’s website, . The instructor’s “Letter to Members of the United States Congress and All Other Public Officials: Conclusive Evidence of Marijuana’s Harm to the Brain, Body, and the Environment”, which includes copious scientific references will also be fully discussed in the course. (That Letter is posted at  Here is an excerpt from that Letter:

Marijuana with its active principle, (−)Δ9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a low to high level hallucinogenic drug with numerous harmful mental and physical effects, including  idiosyncratic effects on mental health and mental functioning…Unlike the minimal or moderate use of alcohol and tobacco, the use of even a small amount of marijuana affects a person’s mental functioning in a variety of predictable and unpredictable ways. For example, it has triggered psychoses and schizophrenia in normal individuals…Contrary to popular belief, owing to the unpredictable effects it has been demonstrated to have, no amount of regulation could possibly ensure the “responsible” or “safe” use of this low to high level hallucinogen.

Topics to be addressed include the following: The need to defend the brain while nurturing mental and physical well-being; The need to foster a mental and public health approach to addressing the challenges of drug use and addiction; and The need to develop and implement comprehensive coordinated strategies aimed at stopping the use of marijuana and other psychoactive and addictive substances in the US. The course emphasizes the need for comprehensive and coordinated public health-oriented strategies involving all sectors of society, including government, the justice system, and educational institutions.

  • “A National Public Health Disaster: Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis~ The Role that Marijuana Use and Legalization are Playing”:  A New Four-Week Online Course (Two Offerings in 2020)  

A New Four-Week Online Course on “A National Public Health Disaster: Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis~ The Role that Marijuana Use and Legalization are Playing” is also being offered.

Offerings in 2020:

  • July 20 – August 16, 2020 and
  • November 2 – 29, 2020.

The role that exposure to and the use of marijuana are playing in the opioid epidemic will be highlighted along with the role that cartels and the black market are playing. See the   instructor’s “Letter to Members of the United States Congress and All Other Public Officials: Conclusive Evidence of Marijuana’s Harm to the Brain, Body, and the Environment” which includes copious scientific references. This Letter will also be fully discussed in the course. (That Letter is posted at

The course also reflects the following perspectives:

Statement on The End of Drug Abuse

The tidal wave of drug abuse and its aftermath will eventually end.   The end to the scourge will come when more and more thoughtful, feeling human beings come forward, contribute to a critical mass of public wisdom and opinion, and effectively turn the tide.  Many individuals have allowed themselves to be blinded to current realities. Many have allowed themselves to be conned and dehumanized.  Some have succumbed to sheer greed, not caring or oblivious to the human and societal costs.  When they become aware of what is going on, they will no longer give in to groupthink, social pressure, and denial.  There is then a hope that human values will overtake the magical thinking and ignorance of proponents and users and that the materialistic values of those who are promoting the societally destructive efforts of “Big Marijuana” will give way to reason and human values.  The challenge is to help coalesce the efforts of two forces:  those who at their core realize what devastation this enchantment with altered states of mind has wrought and those who are not enticed by the promise of material gain who are neither uncaring nor in denial concerning the cost of the destruction of all human and societal values, potentials, and goals. Not only is the mental health of millions of human beings at stake, the very gene pool is in jeopardy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.       June 2, 2019

Why do nations schedule drugs?…… Nations schedule psychoactive drugs because we revere this three pound organ (of our brain) differently than any other part of our body.  It is the repository of our humanity.  It is the place that enables us to write poetry and to do theater, to conjure up calculus and send rockets to Pluto three billion miles away, and to create I Phones and 3 D computer printing.  And that is the magnificence of the human brain.  Drugs can influence (the brain) adversely.  So this is not a war on drugs.  This is a defense of our brains, the ultimate source of our humanity.

                                                                                 Dr. Bertha Madras   April 14, 2016                     Brookings Debate on the Scheduling of Marijuana

The tendencies of public officials to narrowly define the problem and not see the role that marijuana and poly-drug use are having in the drug addiction and opioid crisis are highlighted in the course.  A broader way of defining the challenges associated with drug taking behavior and addiction will be featured, along with exemplary approaches to addressing the nation’s drug crisis.

Registration Fee: $400.

A discount of 10% is available to groups of five or more. For more information and to register, go to  and  or call (334) 844-5100.  

  • “Transforming and Leading Organizations and Organized Efforts”: A New Three-Week Online Course Offered by Auburn University Outreach (Seven Offerings in 2020)  

A New Three-Week Online Course has also been added in 2020: on “Transforming and Leading Organizations and Organized Efforts”.

Offerings in 2020:

  • March 9 – 29, 2020
  • April 6 – 26, 2020
  • May 4 – 24, 2020
  • June 15 – July 5, 2020; 
  • August 3 – 23, 2020;
  • October 5 – 25, 2020; and
  • October 26 – November 15, 2020

This course is designed to help leaders, managers, and drug abuse prevention activists hone their abilities and problem-solving skills in ways that help them have greater success in accomplishing their goals.  Approaches to fostering healthy change; utilizing educational change strategies; communicating effectively; understanding the perspectives of those with differing values, information, and objectives; and resolving conflicts will all be addressed in the course.  A focus of the course is on how these approaches can be applied most effectively to addressing the drug crisis. For a copy of the article that has given the course its name, see “Transforming and Leading Organizations,” published in Government Transformation, Winter 2004-05 issue posted at  or see link at

Registration Fee: $300.

For more information and to register, go to  and or call (334) 844-5100.

Information about the Course Instructor:

The Instructor for the courses is Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.  Dr. Gordon has been involved in the drug abuse prevention and drug policy fields for many decades. She had a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that focused on addressing the drug problem particularly as it was affecting youth and young adults in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. At that time, she wrote a Guide to Ideas on Drug Abuse Policies and Programs. The Guide is still being distributed by the U.S. Education Resources Information Center. (A copy is accessible at

Dr. Gordon was a major contributor to a White Paper on the Drug Problem prepared for the Domestic Affairs Council Staff of the White House. That was at a time in the early ‘70s when there was no Federal coordinating effort overseeing drug abuse prevention programs and policies. She later served as a full-time consultant in the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, when NIMH was given initial responsibilities for overseeing drug prevention efforts, the recommendation that she had initially made to the White House Domestic Affairs Council staff. She served as the full-time staff person to the Federal Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinating Committee. She also played a role in initiating and shaping the legislation that gave rise to the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP) in the Executive Office of the President. SAODAP took the place of the Federal Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinating Committee. Later, SAODAP was replaced by the Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Her past experience in government has also included drug abuse prevention-related contracting and consulting roles with the Department of Justice. Owing to her efforts, a set of three Regional Conferences on “Alternatives to Drugs” was held under the auspices of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Her work can be found at  Included among the articles, presentations, and reports are lists of scientific research references on the harmful effects of on marijuana. Some of her work that is posted online includes the following:

  • A Case for Protecting the Brain: Keeping the Federal Controlled Substances Act in Place and Providing Non-Punitive, Justice System-Based Public Health Options to Address the Use of Marijuana, Opiates, and Other Psychoactive and Mood-Altering Drugs in America. (October 14, 2016), a presentation given at the 2016 International Criminology Conference, in Washington, D.C.
  • The Illegality of Legalizing Marijuana Use: An Open Plea to the President and All Other Sworn Federal, State, and Local Public Officials Concerning Marijuana Policies and Laws in the United States: What Part of “I swear to take Care that Laws be faithfully executed” or “I swear to support and defend the Constitution” Do You Not Understand? (August 4, 2014). An article published by Family Security Matters.
  • The Harm Caused to Individuals and Society by the Use of Marijuana (December 29, 2009). An article also published by Family Security Matters.
  • “Ways in Which Marijuana Use and Legalization are Fueling the Opioid Crisis” (May 30, 2019). A presentation prepared for officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration.) (Posted at .)
  • “Drugs, Homelessness and a Growing Public Health Disaster”, December 11, 2019, at and DomPrep Journal, December 2019.
  • “Letter to Members of the United States Congress and All Other Public Officials: Conclusive Evidence of Marijuana’s Harm to the Brain, Body, and the Environment”, December 16, 2019. (Posted at .)

Also highlighted in the courses taught by Dr. Gordon will be a review submitted by S. Reece, M.D. to the FDA re cannabis arteriopathy, genotoxicity, and teratogenicity (Posted on )

These courses are designed to help more fully inform and support those working to stop the spiraling use of marijuana and other psychoactive substances in our society.   The courses are also designed to help inform policy makers and others in roles of public responsibility of the harmful effects that marijuana use is having. The courses are also designed to help increase the knowledge and understanding of parents, educators, researchers, and all others concerned regarding the harmful effects of marijuana and the substantial negative impacts its use has on individuals, families, communities, and society in general. Those who participate in the courses will be in a better position to help ensure that policy makers, legislators, and others are as fully informed as possible concerning the effects and impacts of drug-taking behavior. All who take the courses will be better prepared to develop and implement sound policies and programs. They will be able to enhance drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation efforts and they will also be enabled to help ensure that current drug-taking trends are reversed. China was able to conquer opium.

The United States can surely be successful addressing the widespread use of marijuana, opiates, and other mind-altering and mood-altering substances that are threatening the rising generation as well as all others in society today. Indeed, current trends are threatening the very stability and future of our free society and our extraordinary experiment in maintaining a government that protects and preserves the freedom that Americans hold dear.

Mary Parker Follett has said that the definition of the purpose of democracy was “to unleash creative energies”. The subtext of her words was “to unleash creative energies for the benefit of humankind”.  To borrow Dr. Bertha Madras’ words, it is essential that we “defend the brain” and protect the body and the moral fiber of the people of our great nation. If we fail to do so, we will have forsaken the promise that the nation’s Founders and all who have since protected our freedoms have helped secure and have given up so much to bequeath these freedoms to us.

Some Testimonials from Course Participants  

Dr. Paula Gordon, an instructor for Auburn University’s Outreach, is offering an inexpensive on-line course on marijuana that I think is beneficial to everyone engaged in the battle to save our kids and nation from this insidious drug. Given the problems we have with marijuana in California, I highly recommend this course for anyone seeking to improve their knowledge.

~ Roger Morgan Take Back America Campaign (916) 434 5629 ______________________________________________________________________________

Wow! This is a terrific opportunity! Educators, social workers, those in the Criminal Justice system, policymakers, legislators, and community volunteers all need to take this course!! …I want to introduce you to Dr. Paula Gordon who developed this course on the harms of marijuana. We need to spread the word to all our colleagues about the value and importance of having this information, especially today in light of all the pro pot misinformation… Great Opportunity! A three-week online course on Harms of Marijuana begins soon. Sign up today! Please help spread the word, especially to those in the prevention and treatment fields!

~ Stephanie Haynes,  Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition SOS – Save Our Society from Drugs – Florida, Texas, Louisiana ______________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for providing such great instruction! The resources you provided and the ideas you “spurred” in my mind that will help me with my work in the future were invaluable… Thanks for a very interesting class! I have gained new insight that I believe will help me going forward….. As my first ever online class, you made it easy and fun!

~ Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) & American Character Builders ______________________________________________________________________________

The resources you’ve shared with all of us are a real boost to my program. Thank you so much! Thanks for the additional tips and references on understanding the perspectives of many people that are pro-legalization. I think many times people just aren’t informed or perhaps they heard some information on television and assumed it was correct…

~ Susan J. Short, Executive Director Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Child Development Center Andalusia, Alabama


Dr. Paula Gordon’s courses were critical to my fully comprehending not only the harmful properties of marijuana but also the societal elements and public policy that allowed this destructive addiction-for-profit industry to spawn and flourish.  Her Effects of Marijuana course is a must for anyone involved in the marijuana prevention effort due to the wealth of information and resources presented.  Dr. Paula Gordon’s effective personal instruction enables a layperson, such as a concerned parent, teacher or anyone questioning the health and safety of marijuana, a solid foundation in understanding the complexity of marijuana in our culture.   The information and benefits I received in this course inspired me to take Dr. Paula Gordon’s Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis Course, further enhancing my knowledge, personal development and ability to assist in marijuana prevention efforts.  

~ Anne Hassel PT, previous marijuana user and marijuana industry worker, Massachusetts   (For further background on Anne Hassel, see; and

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