Last updated on: 12/30/2017 | Author:

Kevin Sabet, PhD Biography

Co-Founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida
Con to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"

“[W]e should also recognize legalization for what it is: the large-scale commercialization and marketing of an addictive — and therefore highly profitable—substance…

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatal crashes in Washington state involving drivers who had recently used marijuana more than doubled after legalization. Colorado has seen similar increases. In states that have legalized, youth marijuana use now exceeds the national average, the black market continues to thrive and employers struggle with more drug-impaired workers than before pot was legalized.

More heavy users of marijuana are reporting to drug treatment, and there have been more school infractions among kids caught with pot. Worse still, the only statistically representative national survey on marijuana use found last year that Colorado is the No. 1 state for youth marijuana use in the country.

Without action, the marijuana industry is poised to become the next Big Tobacco — a profit-hungry special-interest group looking after profits, not public health. We need to acknowledge that marijuana comes with its own set of health risks, including a strong link to psychosis and schizophrenia, memory loss and low academic achievement.”

Cowritten with Patrick Kennedy, “Don’t Let Big Marijuana Prioritize Profits over Public Safety,”, Mar. 8, 2017

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Director, Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida
  • Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida
  • Co-Founder and President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), 2013-present
  • President, Policy Solutions Lab
  • Co-Founder, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), 2013
  • Senior Policy Advisor, Office of National Drug Control Policy, The White House, Executive Office of the President, 2009-2011
  • Recipient, Warr-Goodman Scholarship, Oxford University, 2005-2006
  • Senior Speechwriter, Office of National Drug Control Policy, The White House, Executive Office of the President, 2003-2004
  • Recipient, George C. Marshall Scholarship, 2001
  • Writer/Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy, The White House, Executive Office of the President, 2000
  • Education:
  • PhD, Social Policy, University of Oxford, 2007
  • MS, Comparative Social Policy, University of Oxford, 2002
  • BA, Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2001
  • Other:
  • Twitter handle: @kevinsabet
  • Has delivered over 100 guest lectures at major universities
  • Has testified before the US Congress four times
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?