S.A.M : NEWS ROUND UP September-October 2018

News Roundup

September/October 2018
Here is a brief rundown of marijuana news as well as an update on what we have been up to over the last month.

Register Now for the 2019 SAM SUMMIT in Atlanta!

Don’t miss the 6th Annual SAM Summit , once again taking place in conjunction with the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, GA on April 25, 2019.
SAM is proud to announce that U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, District Of Colorado, has just been added as the featured keynote.
This will be a must-see presentation as US Attorney Troyer will discuss his first-hand experience dealing with the negative effects of marijuana legalization in the state of Colorado.  Be sure to read his September 2018 op-ed ” It’s high time we took a breath from marijuana commercialization.”
Topics to be covered include: Lessons Learned from Legalized States, States to Watch in 2019 and Beyond, Legalization and Social Justice, and more.
We are currently accepting submissions for additional speakers. If you are interested in giving a presentation, please email Brendan at info@learnaboutsam.org

SAM Goes All-In to Defeat Legalization in North Dakota

SAM Action launched a statewide group announcing that they will fight passage of recreational marijuana in North Dakota in this fall’s election, calling it “bad law” and promising to educate residents about its dangers.
The proposed law would make North Dakota the most liberal state for the regulation and control of marijuana. It would allow for limitless THC, place no limits on how much pot a person could carry, or how much they sale or where they sell it. Further, the measure would severely hamstring law enforcement efforts to enforce impaired driving laws.
SAM Action is going all out to support efforts to oppose this reckless proposal from passing. To help bolster the opposition to Measure 3, SAM Action officially launched its new affiliate Healthy and Productive North Dakota. The image above is going up on billboards all over the state advertising the reality of limitless pot potency that the measure would allow for.

Multiple News Outlets Urge No Vote in Michigan, Including Detroit News Endorsement of SAM’s Efforts

New HHS Survey: Heavy Marijuana Use Skyrocketing

The Detroit News officially came out in opposition to the efforts to legalize marijuana in the state of Michigan. “The primary problem with this proposal is that it won’t do what its name implies: regulate marijuana like alcohol. Prop 1 would leave too much of the marijuana production and distribution network underground, making enforcement of regulatory and tax policies difficult.”
Additionally, SAM founder and president Dr. Kevin Sabet penned an oped for The Detroit News highlighting the concerns Michiganders should have about legalization:
“Large increases in drugged driving deaths, a phredatory industry targeting minorities and children, Big Marijuana wants nothing more than to use its power to entice the unsuspecting, the poor, the young and any other group that will listen to its false promises of a better world.”
I n an oped for the Detroit Free Press, Dr. Sabet discussed how legal pot brings about more substance abuse, impaired drivers, and racial disparities:
“According to data from the National Institutes of Health, 70% of today’s illicit drug users began their journey with marijuana. The simple fact is that today’s marijuana is much more potent – and harmful – than in the past.
There are now twice as many daily or near daily marijuana users in the US than just a decade ago, according to the most comprehensive survey on drug use released this month by the federal government. There are also now 8,300 new marijuana users each day, and 22% of 18 to 25 year olds are currently using the drug-the highest number for all three stats in recent memory.
The marijuana industry is getting their wish. More people are using highly potent pot edibles and other items much more often, and the perception of harm for these products is plummeting. It is time we woke up as a country and put science above ideology.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) also found that 42% of marijuana users use the drug daily or almost daily, and that marijuana was used by more than 8 in 10 substance users. Marijuana use rose significantly among age groups 12 and up, 18 and up, and 26 and up. Use among 12 to 17 year olds was stable versus last year, though in legalized states NSDUH data show marijuana use higher on average in legalized states.

Op-ed:  ”New Jersey Police Chiefs: Don’t Legalize Pot”

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana operations in the state to deduct business expenses from their state taxes, effectively allowing them greater movement to to advertise, promote, and commercialize their products.
“Governor Brown did the right thing vetoing AB 1863, which would have granted legitimacy to these federally illegal operations. What is disturbing about the bill is that it would allow these operations to deduct advertising costs just like any legitimate business.
“Because marijuana operations are pushing a federally controlled substance they are not able to deduct these expenses. Had the bill been signed, Big Marijuana would have been able to advertise and operate with even more freedom than they have at present.”
As part of SAM’s ongoing work in New Jersey with its affiliate, NJ-RAMP, Member of the executive board for the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the Chairman of the NJSACOP Working Group, John Zebrowski, penned an op-edhighlighting the concerns of New Jersey law enforcement when it comes to marijuana legalization.
“My community has experienced its share of horrific crashes, traffic congestion, snarl-ups, delays, as well as, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. So I feel appropriately qualified to discuss the issues and concerns related to impaired driving, and in this case “drugged driving,” and its effect upon the motoring and non-motoring public.
Marijuana is not a benign drug. Impairment due to drugged driving has certain comparable similarities to impairment due to drunk driving, but it’s the differences that will make the roadways less safe and the ability to enforce drugged driving laws much more difficult.”

New Data Out of Colorado Show Harsh Reality of Legalization

A new Colorado  report compiled by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area finds marijuana-positive traffic fatalities, hospitalizations, marijuana use, and illegal market activity have increased since marijuana legalization.
The  report finds that since marijuana legalization:
  • Drugged driving went from killing roughly one person every 6.5 days to now killing someone every 2.5 days
  • Marijuana positive deaths have doubled
  • Regular marijuana use among the general population increased 45 percent
  • Marijuana use in Colorado is higher than 85 percent of the nation
  • The report also found that youth marijuana use increased 5 percent and is 54 percent higher than the national average, ranked 7th in the nation
  • The number of highway seizures of Colorado marijuana increased 39 percent
  • A total of 7.3 tons of illicit, Colorado-grown marijuana has been seized by law enforcement as it was en route to 24 different states
  • Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail system has increased 1,042 percent from an average of 52 parcels (2009-2012) to an average of 594 parcels (2013-2017
To read the full report, please click here.

Michigan Prosecutors: “Legal marijuana would change the landscape of Michigan”

SAM President Testifies in Kentucky Legislature as Lawmakers Consider Relaxing Marijuana Laws
Police, prosecutors, health officials and others across the state of Michigan warned of dangers if a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana is passed by voters in November. The prosecutors also endorsed the efforts of Healthy and Productive Michigan, a SAM-affiliate.
Steve Kempker, the Ottawa County sheriff, said he recently met with law-enforcement officials in Colorado where marijuana has been legal since the start of 2014. He said that homelessness, petty theft and drugged-driving crashes – with marijuana the main drug – have increased. Mostly, he’s concerned about the impact on children, and their easier access to the drug.
Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the legalizing marijuana would not, as some say, open jail cells for violent offenders. Any notion that the nation’s jails and prisons are filled with those convicted marijuana-related crimes is “fallacy,”
“It’s a terrible idea for Michigan,” Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said.
SAM founder and president Dr. Kevin Sabet was in Kentucky recently to testify before state lawmakers as they are considering marijuana legalization.
“I think we need to slow down a little bit, because I do think this is something we’re going to regret,” said Dr. Sabet.
Dr. Sabet spent much of the hearing debunking the radical claims of the marijuana industry’s lobbyists, including claims that the drug could cure cancer.
“We are not about criminalizing users or denying medicine that could be helpful for people, especially people with terminal illnesses,” he said. “What we want to talk about is making sure we keep in mind what the data are saying and what experience has shown.”

Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana: New Book Co-Edited by Dr. Kevin Sabet Available Now

Hot off the presses of Oxford University, Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana
is now available for purchase. 
This new book, co-edited by Drs. Kevin A. Sabet and Ken C. Winters, comprises chapters by other experts hailing from a wide range of fields including psychology, epidemiology, medicine, and criminal justice. It is a balanced, data-driven volume highlighting new theory and clinical evidence pertaining to marijuana.
The volume features a comprehensive review of research into marijuana’s impact on public health, including how it affects cognitive and neurological functioning, its medical effects, suggested treatment approaches for marijuana use disorders, marijuana smoking and lung function, and marijuana-impaired driving.
Supplies are limited, so place your order today!


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.

If you can’t chip-in, then at the very least,  and help grow the SAM community.

In Health,

Colton Grace

Communications Associate

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

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COLORADO: Prosecution on Legal Pot Posited

October 1, 2018
CONTACT: Pat Brogan Pat@learnaboutsam.org

Colorado US Attorney Signals Potential Prosecution for “State-Legal” Marijuana Operations
(Alexandria, VA) -  US Attorney for Colorado, Bob Troyer, signaled potential prosecution of “state legal” marijuana operations and their investors in an op-ed written last Friday in the Denver Post. The piece signaled a new approach to reigning in Big Marijuana in states that have legalized. In the editorial, Troyer stated that his office would begin taking legal action against federally illegal marijuana businesses and their investors that have used Colorado’s so-called legal status “as a shield”. In response, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President Dr. Kevin Sabet released the following statement:
“Law enforcement in Colorado have been working overtime to combat this thriving market that has been using the cover of legalization in the state to ship illicit pot to at least three dozen states. Now, the Attorney’s office is shifting from combating the symptom of the illicit market (illegal grow operations on federal lands) and instead getting to the root of the problem: state licensed operations and their investors that are nothing more than a front for illegal activity.
“Contrary to the promises of legalization advocates, legalizing pot does not discourage the illicit market, it makes it easier for it to thrive. The legalization ‘experiment’ has turned legalized states into glorified production centers for criminal enterprises and foreign cartels. It is my sincere hope that US Attorneys in other states follow suit.
“A handful of states currently are being courted by the marijuana industry’s deceptive promises. However, five states have rejected legalization and no states have legalized since 2016. I applaud the efforts of the US Attorney’s office in their stewardship of public safety and public health and ask policymakers nationwide to learn from his leadership.”
“Colorado’s experiment in marijuana legalization has led to youth use in Colorado at 85% higher than the national average, and marijuana-related traffic fatalities up 151%. 70% of dispensaries are recommending highly-potent pot to pregnant mothers, environmental concerns over water and energy consumption are abound, and a booming illegal market exploiting the lax regulatory system has flourished. This ‘experiment’ has failed by all measures.”


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USA: Doing it the Correct Way – DEA Reschedules Marijuana Meds

September 27, 2018
CONTACT: Pat Brogan Pat@learnaboutsam.org

Doing it The Right Way: DEA Reschedules Marijuana Medication
(Alexandria, VA) -  Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) today applauded the rescheduling of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved medication derived from the marijuana plant that contains 99.9% pure cannabidiol (CBD). 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a notice in the Federal Register that moves FDA-approved drugs that contain CBD derived from marijuana and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) from schedule I to schedule V.
“The approval of an FDA-approved CBD product is a very encouraging development,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM. “SAM has long been advocating for research into legitimate medicines derived from marijuana that can actually be prescribed by physicians. This is how we conduct scientific research and practice modern medicine in America. In contrast, marijuana sold in dispensaries are often contaminated and mislabeled.”
The scheduling system, as established by the Controlled Substances Act, is not an index of harm, but an implementation of international treaty requirements for the acceptable medical use of substances that have a potential for abuse. Because whole-plant marijuana has not been standardized, dosed, and passed FDA clinical trials, the FDA has denied several petitions to reschedule the whole plant, most recently in 2016. A court of appeals recently rejected a challenge to that denial.
The FDA has issued several rounds of warning letters to the producers of dispensary marijuana products, some of which were found to contain no CBD, some with high levels of THC, and some contaminated with mold or pesticides.
“The FDA process protects both patients and doctors by ensuring that the products are made with Good Manufacturing Processes and contain medicine patients actually need. Many doctors are reluctant to recommend dispensary products because they know they are exposing their patients to harmful products and themselves to medical malpractice claims,” Sabet said.


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Global: The Absurdity of Legalizing Drugs!

The absurdity of legalising drugs:

“The war on drugs”: what a bombastic, vainglorious phrase that is…But the war on drugs isn’t a war at all. It is an ongoing and complex process of law enforcement. It has different components which are handled in different ways by different jurisdictions and with differing degrees of effort, intelligence and success.

Generalisations are impossible – except one: unlike war, law enforcement is never ‘won’.

Here’s another two things that can go together: the availability of a legal, regulated and abundant supply of drugs and a thriving criminal trade in the same or similar substances. In theory, legalisation should mean no more illegal supply – after all, why go to some guy down an alleyway when you could go to a licensed outlet with unadulterated products sold in standard units?

In practice, it’s more complicated than that – as America’s opioid epidemic proves beyond doubt. Far from pushing out the pushers, the over-prescription of entirely legal opioid-based medications has created new opportunities for them. By expanding the size and the demographic diversity of the opioid dependent population, the legal trade has expanded the market for illegal opioids including heroin. If your prescription has run out, or you need something cheaper (or stronger or perhaps merely different) then the dealers will sort you out. Of course, the product may or may not be cut with super-strength synthetic opioids like fentanyl – which is key factor in the epidemic’s horrific and worsening death toll.

Remember, all of this has happened in the context of a regulated and abundant supply of unadulterated opioids, and yet everything that isn’t supposed to happen has happened. The criminal trade hasn’t just survived, it has extended its reach – and innovated in all sort of dangerous new ways.

For completes article https://unherd.com/2018/09/absurdity-legalising-drugs/


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South Africa: Careless Constitutional Court Call – Creates Cannabis Health Crisis

Cannabis: primary cause of addiction in South Africa:

South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) has reacted with disappointment to the decriminalisation of the private use cannabis by the Constitutional Court.

JACARANDA FM Download 1.4 MB https://iono.fm/e/606056


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CANADA: Health Care Concern around Cannabis Legalization

Canada: Addiction, health-care specialists need to brace for cannabis legalization: CAMH:

Addiction, health-care specialists need to brace for cannabis legalization: CAMH

Jenny Yuen Published: September 22, 2018

A Centre for Addiction and Mental Health director said they’re expecting an upswing in cannabis “poisoning” when federal legalization for pot takes hold on Oct. 17.

Dr. Peter Selby, the director of medical education for the organization, said he’s concerned that legalization will make more people aware of the substance and want to try it. Where health workers are likely going to see a change is more curious first-timers trying it out because of the legalization, who may come to harm from it.

“Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it safe,” he said this week.

“That’s the key thing people should it understand. And just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it mean you mean you use it everywhere for every condition without understanding how it’s made and how it affects you.”

With a lack of standardized dosing or guarantees the marked level of THC on the label is actually what you’re getting, it may also be a contributing factor to the disorder. Selby dismisses cannabis users that infer that smoking weed isn’t addictive.

“Not addictive is not true because why would people otherwise get addicted? The issue is what is the relative addiction risk?, which is low compared some of the legal drugs we have on the market like tobacco and alcohol, but it’s not innocuous,” he said.

“People want to conflate many things here. They get into this absolutist kind of thing, but it’s not accurate. If it isn’t addictive, why are we getting people coming in for addiction treatment for their cannabis use.”

In the last year, 289 patients came to the CAMH emergency room because of problematic cannabis use, representing 2.4% of all patients. If you include patients who came because of cannabis and other issues, including alcohol and mental illness, the number is 721, representing 6% of all patients.

For complete story Toronto Sun – Legal IS NOT SAFE!


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GLOBAL: New York Times Journalist Emeritus – Blows Whistle on WEED!


A former New York Times reporter and now a best-selling author, Alex Berenson has an important new book, Tell Your Children: The truth about marijuana, violence and mental health. Simon & Schuster will publish and release it on January 8, 2019.

“I know this topic is controversial……I spoke to scores of scientists and doctors and examined hundreds of studies and papers. Whatever you think of marijuana, you owe it to yourself and to your families to know the truth that legalizers and the media have hidden from you.” Alex Berenson

Indeed, Berenson’s book promises to confirm the facts that we’ve been warning about: the marijuana-psychosis links; that pot use often makes people violent; that it leads to more crime, more overall drug abuse and more fatalities.  As we try to “tell our children,” NO amount of marijuana use is worth the risks.

The Inconvenient Truth

• Almost no one is in prison for marijuana;
• A tiny fraction of doctors write most authorizations for medical marijuana, mostly for people who have already used;
• Marijuana use is linked to opiate and cocaine use. Since 2008, the US and Canada have seen soaring marijuana use and an opiate epidemic. Britain has falling marijuana use and no epidemic;
• Most of all, THC—the chemical in marijuana responsible for the drug’s high—can cause psychotic episodes. After decades of studies, scientists no longer seriously debate if marijuana causes psychosis.

Psychosis brings violence, and cannabis-linked violence is spreading. In the four states that first legalized, murders have risen 25 percent since legalization, even more than the recent national increase.

According to the overview on Barnes & Noble and a description on Amazon, “Berenson’s reporting ranges from the London institute that is home to the scientists who helped prove the cannabis-psychosis link to the Colorado prison where a man now serves a thirty-year sentence after eating a THC-laced candy bar and killing his wife. He sticks to the facts, and they are devastating.”

“With the US already gripped by one drug epidemic, this book will make readers reconsider if marijuana use is worth the risk.”

For complete story Exploding Myths of Marijuana NYTimes Journalist Emeritus


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USA: North Dakota PEOPLE over POT PROFIT Campaign Begins!

Dear friend,
Last month, an upstart effort by a college student resulted in the placement of a legalization ballot initiative in North Dakota. SAM Action has been extremely active in Michigan already, and so we began the process of ramping up operations in North Dakota. Measure 3, the North Dakota initiative, creates  an addiction-for-profit industry that  puts   pot  profits  over people .  Today, our Chief of Staff, Luke Niforatos, and our Marijuana Accountability Coalition coordinator, Justin Luke Riley, kicked off our formal campaign -  Healthy and Productive North Dakota – and we launched a series of billboards and social media ads in key North Dakota markets.
SAM Chief of Staff Luke Niforatos, joined by local North Dakotans, in Fargo today.

Measure 3 would allow for limitless THC potency  and possession amounts – it is an incredibly reckless, greedy initiative. Law enforcement would have a hard time even prosecuting any DUI offenses.
Billboard seen across multiple sites in North Dakota
Thankfully, scores of medical doctors, employers, treatment providers, drug prevention professionals, business owners, employees, law enforcement officers, and parents have come together for form Healthy and Productive North Dakota.
The marijuana industry is going all-in for the states in which it is working to legalize. They are salivating at the opportunity to expand their profit-driven scheme in a new state – and even more anxious to do so in a state with virtually no regulations.
SAM Action is doing everything we can do help educate voters on the dangers of marijuana commercialization, and so far we have had a very successful year so far.
Legislative efforts to commercialize marijuana have been defeated in five states this year, and we have held up New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s pro-pot agenda for over 250 days. That is truly remarkable and proves that legalization is not inevitable.
But as we near the elections, our resources are being spread thin. Can you chip-in with a donation today to help SAM Action continue to defeat marijuana commercialization across the country?
Every dollar you can give is a dollar that will go towards fighting more stoned drivers on our roads, more youth using marijuana, booming black markets, and increasing mental health issues.
Thank you for all that you do,
Dr. Kevin Sabet
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action

About SAM Action

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM Action engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization.


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USA: Big Marijuana is Curse and the Nation is Waking Up!


SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

Beware of Big Marijuana.  A nationwide movement is fighting back against the marijuana industry, and the victims will no longer be silent.  The Marijuana Victims Alliance ( MVAA.org)  has harsh words for the marijuana industry.   Parents Opposed to Pot, as well as national anti-marijuana organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), focus on stopping the marijuana tsunami which is already taking over the country.  National Families in Action writes of the latest studies and reports about marijuana in its blog, The Marijuana Report.

Moms Strong is a critically important website which shares the stories of parents whose children have lost their lives because of marijuana.  It serves to inform and warn others.  Marijuana Science Forum doesn’t take a stand against legalization, but the science presented on its website states the facts, and those facts are  sobering. When the Smoke Clears has another excellent page devoted to facts. The group posts very effective graphics on its Facebook page.

Drug Free America Foundation works in opposition to all drugs, recognizing the marijuana is usually the drug of initiation drug for young people who die of drugs.  All of us are united and support each other.

Help us stop the commercial marijuana industry.  If these groups have a Facebook and Twitter presence, please follow or “LIKE” them. Those simple actions can raise the profile of all groups that fight against BIG MARIJUANA.

For more http://www.poppot.org/2018/09/28/new-groups-rise-up-against-pot-challenge-big-marijuana/


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UK: Life up in ‘Vapers’!

Vapers tricked into buying synthetic cannabis-laced product

An Observer investigation finds a synthetic cannabis substance hidden in liquid William McLennan 2018

Drug producers are capitalising on the rise of vaping to sell a liquid form of “spice” – an illegal synthetic substance nicknamed “zombie” – to unwitting customers.

Suppliers of Kronic Juice, which is being shipped into the UK labelled as a harmless e-liquid, refuse to disclose the ingredients, referring only to a “patent pending flavour enhancer”. However, laboratory tests commissioned by the Observer found it to contain a strain of synthetic cannabis that was banned in 2016.

The same chemical, sprayed on to plant matter and smoked in cigarette papers, was one of the so-called “legal highs” that came to be known as the zombie drug.

The emergence of liquid spice is the latest chapter in a battle between law enforcement and manufacturers, which led to the introduction of a blanket ban under the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2016. For complete story https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/22/vaping-cannabis-substance-liquid-spice



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