Myths, facts of marijuana legalization to be discussed at community forum

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Kevin Sabet, Ph.D.

The legalization of marijuana continues to be a polarizing topic of debate throughout our country – including here in Virginia, where marijuana is still illegal. Officials hope an upcoming program will help better educate members of our community about this debate by presenting facts about both the pros and cons of marijuana legalization.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, President and CEO of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), will be the featured speaker at a presentation entitled, “Refer Sanity: Seven Myths About Marijuana,” on Wednesday, September 30 at Christiansburg High School from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The program, which is free and open to the public, is being sponsored by NRVCS Prevention Services and the following community prevention coalitions: the Floyd MD (Multi-disciplinary) Team, the Giles Youth-Adult Partnership, Montgomery County Prevention Partners, the Pulaski Community Partners Coalition, and the Radford Youth-Adult Partnership.

SAM is a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that believes in a “commonsense, third-way approach to marijuana policy is based on reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety.” The organization consists of medical doctors, lawmakers, treatment providers, preventionists, teachers, law enforcement officers and others who seek a middle road between incarceration and legalization. According to its website, SAM believes in an approach that neither legalizes, nor demonizes, marijuana.

Dr. Sabet, who co-founded SAM with former U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr., has been an advisor to the three most recent Presidential Administrations (Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama). He has studied, researched, written about and implemented drug policy for more than 20 years. Currently, Dr. Sabet serves as the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.

The September 30 presentation will take place in Christiansburg High School’s auditorium.

For more information about Prevention Services offered through NRVCS, or the local community coalitions in the New River Valley, contact Kathy Kenley.

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