The 4th Annual SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) Marijuana Education Summit will be held Thursday, April 20, 2017, at The Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, in conjunction with the 6th Annual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. Project SAM’s leaders are among the world’s most prominent voices calling for science-based marijuana education and awareness.
The program and faculty will feature influential policymakers and advocates.
NOTE: This daylong post-conference requires a separate registration.
The program and faculty for the SAM Marijuana Educational Summit include:
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and many more knowledgeable officials.
New Administration Officials Have Also Been Invited to Speak
A New President, A New Congress, A New Marijuana Policy?
Kevin Sabet, PhD, Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and Co-founder of Project SAM
Kevin A. Sabet, PhD, is the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and Co-founder of Project SAM. Author, consultant, assistant professor, and advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, Sabet has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. In 2011, he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Barack Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in both a Democratic and Republican administration. He has appeared since at the Aspen Ideas and New Yorker festivals and participated on the Organization of American States blue-ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions promoting the ideas outlined in his first book, “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana,” published by Beaufort. He has been featured on the front page of The New York Times and in many major media publications and news channels on the subject of drug policy. In 2013, he co-founded, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which advocates for a public health based marijuana policy. He is also the director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine.
Linking the Recovery Movement
Justin Luke Riley, CEO, Young People in Recovery
Justin Luke Riley serves as CEO of Young People in Recovery (YPR). YPR is a national grassroots organization focused on peer-to-peer services for young people in, or seeking, recovery from substance use disorder. The organization aims to improve access to treatment, educational resources, employment opportunities and housing that sustains young people in their recovery. With over 100 chapters nationwide, YPR empowers young people to get involved in their communities by providing them with the tools and support that will allow them to take charge of their futures. Riley is 28 years old and has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder since 2007. He graduated cum laude from the Honors & Leadership Program at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2013 and is currently seeking his Executive MBA at the University Colorado. He is a former organizational development consultant and a youth and community engagement pastor in Denver; former secretary of the board of Faces & Voices of Recovery in Washington, D.C.; and past president of the board of Advocates for Recovery in Denver. He is also a White House Champion of Change award recipient. Most recently, Riley was featured as one of the four Social Entrepreneurs Advancing the Nationwide Recovery Movement in Forbes.
Engaging with Chambers of Commerce and Other Key Allies: The Ohio Speakers
Tony Coder, Director, State and Local Affairs, Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Tony Coder is the Assistant Director of the Drug Free Action Alliance, a statewide nonprofit focused on the prevention of drug use and abuse across the lifespan. In this role, he has set goals to increase advocacy opportunities for coalitions and individuals alike for the prevention of substance abuse and its related consequences. Coder is the Ohio Chairman for the Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and is a national presenter on the implications of marijuana legalization policies for business, law enforcement, education and healthcare. He also serves as SAM’s Special Advisor for State Affairs, to assist states in their efforts to defeat legalization. Prior to joining the Drug Free Action Alliance, Coder worked in Gov. Bob Taft’s office with the First Lady on drug prevention issues, and also served as the Legislative Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services under Gov. Ted Strickland, where he was the chief lobbyist for a $20 million agency. He also served as the Assistant Communications Director for the agency in this role. In 2015, Coder was a leader in the grassroots organization efforts to soundly defeat marijuana legalization in the state.
An Update from the Trenches: Colorado and What You Should Know for Your State
Ben Cort, Board of Directors, SAM
Ben Cort's passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. Sober since June 15, 1996, Cort has been a part of the recovery community in various ways: from a recipient, to a provider, to a nationally recognized spokesperson and sought after speaker. Additionally, he has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimized. He has published multiple articles and position papers, and has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Cort is a Junior Fellow at the University of Florida's Drug Policy Institute, and is on the Board of Directors for NALGAP (The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies). In 2015, he started Addiction Treatment Marketers Organization, which is focused on promoting ethics, transparency and integrity in the marketing of treatment services.
Additional Summit sessions include:
- The Arizona Experience and Lessons Learned from Maine
- Engaging Low-Income Communities
- The National Academies of Science Report for Dummies: Using it in Your Communities