Last updated on: 3/26/2014 | Author:

Kevin Sabet, PhD Biography

Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“The CMA [California Medical Association] has decided that the solution is completely to legalize marijuana for all purposes, both medical and recreational, and then study it. But this is backwards. With no other modern medication have we taken this approach. Can you imagine if we made some new psychoactive substance — say Spice, K-2, or ‘bath salts’– fully legal before researching it?…

Furthermore, the raw marijuana plant material — itself containing hundreds of unknown components — has not met FDA’s standards of safety and efficacy…

[W]e don’t smoke opium to reap the benefits of morphine, nor do we chew willow bark to receive the effects of aspirin. Similarly, we should not have to smoke marijuana to get potential therapeutic effects from its components.

[M]edical marijuana as it stands today, in California and many other states, has turned into a sad joke. A recent study found that the average ‘patient’ was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of a life-threatening disease…

Real medications must be fully studied, then approved by the FDA, then made available to patients by prescription.”

“California Medical Association’s Decision Not Based on Public Health,” Huffington Post, Oct. 21, 2011

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to medical marijuana. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to medical marijuana issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Director, Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida
  • Assistant Professor, University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
  • President, Policy Solutions Lab
  • 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:
    1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?