SAM Maryland Forms Marijuana Initiative


Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) is a recent marijuana policy initiative based on public health. A newly formed Maryland affiliate, SAM Maryland, recently held a summit in Annapolis to discuss their concerns with marijuana legalization efforts in Maryland.

Project SAM, chaired by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, is a bipartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists, and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic dichotomies of “incarceration versus legalization” and instead focus on practical changes to marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalize

drugs. Former George W. Bush Speechwriter, Newsweek/Daily Beast columnist David Frum, Harvard Professor Sharon Levy, MD, University of Kansas public health specialist Kimber Richter, PhD, MPh, Colorado chapter President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Kathryn Wells, former Obama and Bush advisor Kevin Sabet PhD, and others also serve on the board of SAM. SAM focuses on a “third way “approach to marijuana, and is working with their Maryland partner to reach the public on the local level.

Project SAM is focusing on four main goals:

(1)To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana

(2)To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest

(3)To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” — and a 21st Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children. Those are the very likely results of legalization

(4)To promote research on marijuana in order to obtain FDA approved, pharmacydispensed, cannabis based medications

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention in Easton has taken a lead role in organizing the Maryland affiliate. Anyone interested in further information on SAM Maryland can contact 410-819-8067 or email Executive Director Gary Pearce, at To learn more about Smart Approaches to Marijuana, you can visit our website at


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