“You always seem to hear people say that marijuana is a safe drug because no one has ever died from using it. I’m here to tell you that is simply not true. My 31-year-old son Andy died by suicide one year ago this month in Peoria, AZ, leaving a note that ended with these words: ‘My soul is already dead. Marijuana Killed my soul + ruined my brain.'”

To read more about this story, please visit our testimonial page HERE



Marijuana Legalization Will Cost Taxpayers

Links to an increase in schizophrenia alone could wipe out any revenues from legalized pot, new study says 

The white paper, co-authored by Christine Miller, Ph.D., a pharmacologist specializing in neuroscience, takes to task the major report used to support the legalization movement for failing to account for documented and well-researched links between marijuana use and mental health disorders, and the costs of treating them.
Responding to comments from the authors of the RAND Report, we have made changes to the introduction and a heading in our white paper, Marijuana in Vermont and the Increased Economic Burden of Schizophrenia. We also took the opportunity to clarify two confusing points reported by one of our readers, which led to slight changes in the final note and in the descriptive text and footnote for Table A. Our review of the literature, calculations, and conclusions have not changed.

To learn more, click to read the:

Press Release

Executive Summary

Marijuana Use and the Cost of Increased Schizophrenia

Latest Research Linking Marijuana and Opiates

Dr. Bertha Madras, PhD, Harvard Univeristy

View the video presentation: Dr. Bertha Madras

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about HEALTH

Increased use increases rates of addiction and dependence. In 2013, over half of youth aged 12-17 in treatment programs cite marijuana as the primary substance used.

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about the ECONOMY

For every $1 in alcohol and tobacco tax revenues, society loses $10 in social costs, such as accidents, crime, regulation hassles, lost productivity and health damage.

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about YOUTH

Marijuana contributes to psychosis and schizophrenia, and to dependence for 1 in 6 kids who use it even once, and it reduces IQ among those who start smoking before age 18. More teens in Vermont enter treatment with a primary diagnosis for marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about EDUCATION

Marijuana use is consistently associated with reduced grades and a reduced chance of graduating from school.

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about HIGHWAY SAFETY

Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims.

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We oppose marijuana legalization because…


Business owners in Vermont that require pre-employment drug tests will likely find a smaller pool of potential workers if marijuana is widely available.

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When Americans discovered that ingested lead lowered IQs and caused mental disabilities, they took a very SMART action: they banned its use in paints and gasoline and spent millions cleaning it off their walls and out of the soil.
We now know that people who start using marijuana in their early teens and continue to use into adulthood lose as much as 10 points off their IQ scores by the time they reach their late 30s. The average IQ loss for heavy users is 8 points and for moderate users 6 points.
We now know that forty-eight different studies have found that marijuana use is consistently associated with reduced grades and a reduced chance of graduating from school – and that a reduction of one point in your IQ will cause – on average – a reduction of $18,000 in annual income, with an associated and resultant loss of tax revenue for the state.
We now know that marijuana can bring on schizophrenia and worsen the symptoms in people who already suffer from mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders, and several personality disorders (anti-social, obsessive-compulsive, paranoia, and schizophrenia). Hospitalizations are longer and more frequent; disease progression is accelerated, loss of functionality occurs more quickly and onset is earlier.

Isn’t it time we got SMART about marijuana?

“I think the public health burden for the state of Vermont is going to increase, and the tax revenues eventually will be far less than the cost to the state.” 

~Dr. Bertha Madras,  Harvard Medical School neuroscientist.

” I have a lot of thoughts about marijuana.  I certainly think it should be decriminalized.  But i’ve always said that if it is legalized, it will be advertised —there’s just no way to stop this (at least not with the current Supreme Court).   And then we’ll see a huge increase in use and abuse and resulting problems.”

~Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.

“It’s the daily and the near daily users that account for about 80% of all your marijuana expenditures, so the for-profit companies can be expected to focus on creating and maintaining these heavy users. Dependence is good the bottom line of these companies…. With our commercial free speech doctrine, it makes it very hard to restrict advertising and marketing.”

~Beau Kilmer, RAND Corporation


Gina Carbone, founding member of Smart Colorado, became involved with  Colorado’s marijuana policy  when she was selected to serve on a working group for Governor Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 Task Force as an advocate for youth, public health, and safety.  She has advocated for and was involved in several key legislative initiatives related to marijuana policy during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions.  Here is what she had to say on marijuana legalization in Colorado: “We were told it was going to be tightly regulated.  It would not be in the hands of our kids, we would get rid of the black market and, unfortunately, those things aren’t true. That has not come to fruition in Colorado.”  According to Carbone, marijuana in Colorado is now commercialized, accessible, and confusing to kids.”

The newest U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., said the following in February 2015 about medical marijuana:
“Marijuana should be subjected to the same, rigorous clinical trials and scientific scrutiny that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies to all new medications.”


SAM-VT is a statewide coalition of Vermonters – parents, grandparents, young people, senior citizens and other concerned adults. We represent diverse backgrounds including drug & alcohol prevention, youth services, education, health care, law enforcement, mental health and business leaders. We agree that marijuana legalization poses a threat to Vermont’s health, economy, youth, education, highway safety and work force.

New Report:  Legal Marijuana Having Deadly Impact in Colorado

rocky mtn

Colorado HIDTA report highlights increases in marijuana-related traffic fatalities and marijuana used by kids. Read the full report here.

Health Impact Assessment from the Vermont Department of Health

Executive Summary:

The Vermont Department of Health and key stakeholders conducted this Health Impact Assessment of the possible effects that could result from regulating and taxing adult marijuana use on the health of Vermonters. Read the full report here.


Featured Review: The Other Side of Cannabis

A review from Parents Against Pot on the film The Other Side of Cannabis, a candid documentary film from a mother’s attempt to understand her son’s psychotic break can be found here.

The  power of the film’s message comes from the way filmmaker Jody Belsher intersperses a variety of viewpoints: high school students in treatment, professional counselors, parents of all ages, medical professionals, people in recovery and even life-long addicts.  Also included in the mix is a 34-year old homeless man who started using at age 10, a man who lost his family and woman who feels she lost her life from the twenties to the forties.   Testimonies of young and old and from 4 regions of the country are covered: Boston, Chicago, Boulder, Colorado, and central California.


SAM-VERMONT, Inc. Registered with the State of Vermont.