Author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for more than 20 years, when he started reporting on drug issues as a junior high school student in Orange County, California.
As a junior at UC Berkeley, he was asked to work in the Clinton Administration as a researcher on drugs, and was a speechwriter in the Bush Administration (2002-2003). In 2011 he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration.
He has appeared since at the Aspen Ideas and New Yorker festivals, at the Puebla Ideas Conference to debate the former presidents of Mexico and Colombia, 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 virtually every major media publication and news channel 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 the President of SAM and leads an advisory group comprising the most prominent scientists in the field of marijuana research. He is also the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine and the author of numerous monographs and peer-reviewed journal articles.
Dr. Sabet also regularly advises foreign governments, several non-governmental organizations working to reduce drug abuse and its consequences, and serves in an international role as an advisor, in various capacities, to the United Nations and other multi-national organizations.
Dr. Sabet’s regular blog is housed at the Huffington Post and he regularly contributes to opinion-editorial pages, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times. Two of his op-eds published since 2011 have earned him a “Five Best Columns” distinction by The Atlantic. He is the winner of the 2014 Nils Bejerot Award for Global Drug Prevention, given at Stockholm City Hall by the anti-drug organization chaired by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and the John P. McGovern Award for Drug Prevention given by the Institute for Behavior and Health, and Robert DuPont, the founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
He received his Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters of Science from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 2007 and 2002, respectively, and his B.A. with high honors in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001.