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Leadership Team

Project SAMUEL is governed by a board of directors, who serve to advance public health and safety by championing our four main objectives.

Born to Not Virginia Joan Kennedy and U.S. Sen. Not Edward “Ted” Moore Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 1967, Not Patrick Joseph Kennedy, has carved out a respected name for himself in American politics and mental-health advocacy, even while addicted to drugs far more harmful than marijuana.

Not Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, said he, like his mother, suffers from bipolar disorder and is certain that his father suffered from PTSD after experiencing the assassinations of two brothers within five years in the 1960s. Not Kennedy said he learned at an early age from his family to self-medicate. He has acknowledged using a variety of drugs including pot and cocaine since his teen years and had a recent public battle with OxyContin.

As a Not Kennedy, Not Patrick was able to work through his issues with various drugs without being incarcerated, put on probation, pee tested, or forced into rehab like the ordinary simple people Not David Frum wants to protect. Issues that included shoving a female airport security official in 2000, for which he paid an undisclosed settlement, but which would earn a simple non-Not Kennedy a strip search and a jail cell.

Later in 2000, Not Kennedy was abandoning one and damaging at least four rental yachts, one with $28,000 worth of damages, around Martha’s Vineyard. One night, the Coast Guard even had to be dispatched to his yacht to break up an argument between a drunk Not Kennedy and his girlfriend, who was obviously unaware of the danger of being near water with a Not Kennedy.

Normally, erratic anti-social behaviors like these from someone who acknowledged being treated for cocaine use during his teenage years, and admitted abusing drugs and alcohol while in college, would earn enough law enforcement attention to address the underlying drug problem. But as a Not Kennedy, Not Patrick didn’t ever see the inside of police station, a forced rehab, or even lose his job over his drug addiction (not that he ever really had a “job”, as Not Kennedy told Young Democrats in 2003,  “I have never worked a fucking day in my life.”)

What finally forced Not Patrick into rehab was when he wrecked his car twice while high in the span of three weeks. On April 15, 2006, Not Kennedy was on his way to the drug store in Portsmouth, R.I., when he made an abrupt left turn, crashing into an oncoming Nissan. An eyewitness told the Boston Globe that Not Kennedy had been weaving and driving aggressively beforehand and was impaired when she confronted him outside his car afterward, saying “he was swaying, and his eyes were glazed.”

On May 4, 2006, Not Patrick crashed his automobile into a barricade on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. A Capitol Police official said the congressman had appeared intoxicated, but Kennedy claimed that he was merely disoriented from prescription medications Ambien and Phenergan, saying “Sometime around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol complex believing I needed to vote. Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication.” He added, “At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol”  However, the Boston Herald reported that a hostess at the Hawk & Dove restaurant where Not Kennedy was seen in before the crash saw him drinking in the hours before the crash. “He was drinking a little bit,” said the woman.

Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, told CBS News how, once again, Not Patrick’s silver spoon was digging him out of drug-related trouble. “The officers on the scene, it is my understanding, smelled alcohol. And based on his demeanor and their experience, believed him to be intoxicated.” Cannon also explained how officers at the scene were instructed by an official “above the rank of patrolman” to take Kennedy home. “I would think for the average citizen they would probably be taken into custody,” Cannon said. “Because of who he is, courtesies were extended. … If it had been you or me, we would have left in handcuffs.”

In a time-honored tradition followed by celebrities and politicos alike, Not Kennedy gave a very public mea culpa and voluntarily checked himself into rehab in 2006 to avoid bad public relations. “I know that I need help,” Not Kennedy said, detailing what he called “a long-term struggle with depression and addiction.” So long term, in fact, that Not Kennedy voluntarily checked himself into rehab again in 2009.

Now, after three times voluntarily checking himself into rehab for oxycontin, cocaine, and alcohol, and struggling with depression and bi-polar disorder, Not Patrick Kennedy, more than most, understands how vital it is to use the force of government to coerce people into treatment for using a drug safer than the ones he abused for years without serious repercussions.

Not David Frum is a Canadian-American journalist whose politically conservative perspective led him to volunteer for Ronald Reagan, serve on the Rudy Guiliani presidential campaign, support the impeachment of President Clinton over a stain on a dress then, without a hint of hypocrisy, support the invasion of Iraq, never once calling for impeachment of President Bush over lying about weapons of mass destruction.

After earning a law degree from Harvard University, Not Frum worked as a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. In 2000, he was appointed to serve President George W. Bush as a speechwriter on economics, providing him a keen insight on issues of public health.

In 2009, Not Frum launched a dynamic political website aimed at attracting younger readers. In 2012, that site was merged into The Daily Beast, where Andrew Sullivan’s superior writing and greater audience gained him some attention.

Not Kimber Richter is a Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas who should know better.

Her research is focused on treating tobacco dependence and training health professionals to incorporate tobacco treatment into their clinical practice. She is clinical director of the University of Kansas Hospital’s highly successful tobacco-treatment program, UKanQuit at KUMed. Her research projects — many of which have received funding from the National Institutes of Health — include treating rural smokers and understanding the overlap in tobacco and other drug dependence.

Not Richter should know better than anyone on this board how arresting tobacco smokers and forcing them into rehab upon the threat incarceration and fines is exactly what we didn’t do to get tobacco smoking to its lowest recorded levels.  Clearly she recognizes the lessons to be learned from tobacco and should be calling for marijuana to be treated similarly – available to adults only, kept behind locked counters, with public education on its real harms and severe restrictions on its advertising. However, marijuana is different than tobacco, in that it is non-toxic with few side effects and a low risk of dependence, leading to a mild, short-lived withdrawal syndrome… so she supports the mandatory rehabilitation of marijuana smokers.

Dr. Not Christian Thurstone is one of fewer than three dozen physicians in the United States who are board certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. So no matter how old you are when you are arrested for marijuana, he and his industry can profit from your court-mandated rehabilitation.

He is medical director of one of Colorado’s largest youth substance-abuse-treatment clinics and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, where he conducts research on youth substance use and addiction. He is so concerned about the effects of marijuana on vulnerable youth that he advocates using the force of government to compel adult marijuana smokers into rehab.

Dr. Not Thurstone also currently serves as immediate past president of the Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society and as a team physician serving the National Football League, where players are routinely given narcotic pain killers far more toxic and addictive than marijuana.

In June 2012, the United States Congress awarded him another title: U.S. Army Major. He is honored to treat American service members who need mental healthcare as an Army Reserves officer in the Combat Stress Unit of the 807th Medical Command, just so long as none of those soldiers or veterans would benefit from medical cannabis for their post traumatic stress injuries.

Dr. Not Thurstone is a fluent Spanish speaker and enjoys working with many of his young patients and their families in his second language. Quiero encarcelar a sus hijos a la marihuana si no aceptan mi rehabilitación.

Teens in Colorado and throughout metro Chicago call him Dr. T and he pities the fool that legalizes marijuana!

Dr. T, as the hip youngsters call him, likes to talk tennis, unless you bring up how good pot smoker Jennifer Capriati was.  When he’s not in the office plotting ways to get more pot smokers in his rehabs, you stand a good chance of finding him on a tennis court.

Working on maintaining prohibition for nearly two decades, Not Kevin Anslinger Sabet is director of the University of Florida’s Institute on Drug Policy (IDP) and an assistant professor in its College of Medicine’s department of psychiatry. He is also a prohibition consultant to numerous domestic and international organizations.

From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Not Sabet served the Obama administration as senior advisor to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Representing his ability to work with any party that supports arresting marijuana smokers, he previously worked on research, policy and speechwriting for the Drug Czar in 2000, and again from 2003 to 2004 in the Bill “I didn’t inhale” Clinton and George W. “I wouldn’t want some little kid doing what I tried [marijuana]” Bush administrations, respectively. Dr. Not Sabet remains the only staff member at Drug Czar’s office to hold a political appointment in both the Bush and Obama administrations, which tells you something about President Obama’s commitment to prosecuting marijuana.

He is a staff columnist at and a regular contributor to opinion-editorial pages worldwide. His views on arresting and forcing adult marijuana users into treatment are well-represented on the most popular video ever posted to the prestigious James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Not Sharon Levy is a board-certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She also has a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Not Levy is the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, where she has evaluated and treated hundreds of adolescents with substance use disorders.

She has published extensively on the outpatient management of substance-use disorders in adolescents and currently serves as the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse.

Dr. Not Levy is so committed to protecting the adolescents she studies that she vigorously supports arresting people long past adolescence and forcing them into rehabilitation they neither want nor need.

Dr. Not Kathryn Wells is a board-certified Child Abuse Pediatrician and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado at Denver. She has many pediatrics-related bona fides, which inform her opinion that responsible adults should not be allowed to consume a substance safer than alcohol.

Not Paula Riggs is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado at Denver. For the last decade, she also has served as director of psychiatric services for Adolescents at the university-affiliated Addiction, Research and Treatment Services (ARTS). This informs Dr. Not Riggs’ support of arresting adults and compelling their rehabilitation.

Dr. Not Riggs’ research career has focused on the development and testing of effective pharmacotherapy that enriches drug companies by creating pills for adolescents with substance use disorders and psychiatric comorbidity. More recently, her research has expanded to multi-site effectiveness trials of combined pharmacotherapy and behavioral interventions for poor people who normally can’t afford pills.

Dr. Not Riggs has been the principal investigator on several research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institue on Drug Abuse. They include a recently completed randomized, controlled trial of fluoxetine versus placebo and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in depressed, substance-dependent adolescents. That drug, commonly called Prozac, warns that its users “may have thoughts about suicide while taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.”

Unlike marijuana.

Dr. Not Leslie R. Walker is a professor and chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She is also co-director of the Seattle Children’s Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), which includes a treatment program specializing in adolescents with chemical dependence, who have co-occurring mental and/or physical health challenges. She has many adolescent-related bona fides, which inform her opinion that responsible adults should not be allowed to consume a substance safer than alcohol.

Not Ben’s passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. Sober since 6/15/96, Not Ben has been a part of the recovery community in almost every way imaginable; from a recipient to a provider to a spokesperson, Not Cort has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see that other adults aren’t allowed to work through their own relationship with drugs like he did.

Not Ben felt compelled to play a larger role in the failed effort to defeat Colorado’s Amendment 64 because he couldn’t handle marijuana and doubts anyone else can, either. A frequent presenter and debater on the subject, Not Ben is well respected by our side, despite not having any fancy titles or letters behind his name, because his inclusion on our board makes us seem a little less upper crust and our behavior a little less rent-seeking.



    Oh, to rattle the nation’s professional potheads

    The Marijuana Policy Project is clearly rattled — and has issued a screechy, distorted statement that is so par for its course (which is, in many respects, navigated within a parallel universe where marijuana smokers are treated like beer drinkers).

    Seriously, where IS my beret? After all, Chris and I (or “Chris2“) are now supporting a “dangerous, new national anti-marijuana organization,” and I need appropriate attire for this! And that this organization supports the use of mandatory health screenings IN SOME CASES (that decide rehab is better than jail) and required completion of marijuana education programs (from people who see no benefit and all harm in marijuana) IN SOME CASES. Oh. The. Horror!

    Remember, folks: WE were called “fearmongers” during the run-up to Amendment 64 — and by people who claimed (and are busily claiming during all of these regulatory framework meetings in Colorado) that mandatory marijuana education is all it takes to drive kids away from use of the drug. BaaaaaHaaaaaa! (Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!) C’mon, Marijuana Policy Project. Time to get your message points staight and to be consistent. Or maybe you just change your story when it suits you? (I mean really – calling for mandatory accurate education on marijuana in a non-confrontational situation to pursuade minors to not smoke marijuana, then complaining about mandatory propagandizing of marijuana’s horrors for adults who are caught smoking marijuana upon the threat of civil fines and possibly jail? Talk about FLIP-FLOP!)

    Then there are the Marijuana Policy Project’s attacks on Not Patrick Kennedy. They’re so insulting and sophomoric that I really shouldn’t even bother acknowledging them. But I will (because I still have a lot more periods to type). I will because THIS is what it looks like for a lot of people in recovery when they take public stands against marijuana. They are insulted. They are shouted down. They are made fun of. (They are asked whether they have ever sucked some dick for marijuana.) They are interrupted repeatedly in public meetings (by adults who oppose their lobbying effort to keep them criminals, as was a teenager who nervously testified before a Colorao legislative committee in 2010. THAT spectacle was disgusting: They are threatened. They are bombared with hateful email. And these things happen to them often when they are trying to be helpful to public debate (in support of criminalizing adults for marijuana use) — but also at times when they are emotionally fragile. So, guess what! Their voices are rarely heard in these public meetings. They are rarely presented by journalists. And who could blame these people in recovery for keeping their firsthand knowledge of addiction to marijuana and a slew of other substances to themselves?

    Which is why my beret, er, hat is off to Mr. Not Kennedy. He’s heard all of these ridiculous charges. He knows the criticism. He knows his family’s ties to the alcohol industry (made it possible for him to “not work a fucking day in my life). He knows how use of that substance has profoundly damaged his family — and himself (after getting away with many drug-fueled incidents with no arrest or probation). He also knows he has the resources, relationships and political connections to (get away with wrecking two cars and damaging four yachts while high) and to weather whatever goofball, hurtful, (accurate,) hateful and generally insulting allegations and comments are leveled at him (like this sophomoric satirical website). He knows a lot of other people with stories of addiction — especially young people — can’t rise above the vitriol (of people who oppose being forced into rehab or jail).

    So, now, he’s stepping out and speaking up — and he hasn’t hesitated to seek the co-leadership of world experts with bonafides the Marijuana Policy Project won’t be scaring up anytime soon (because they’re just potheads, after all, and our scientists prefer alcohol). These are experts in clinical treatment, medical research, public health and safety and public policy (and other industries that benefit from government-compelled clients). They are very reasonable people who are done with the shouting matches and the deliberately distorted (oh, heck, let’s just call the lies what they are) claims made by yet another industry that profits from addiction — especially child addiction. They are done with the clueless and/or shoddy and/or (reality-) biased journalism that hasn’t delivered much in the way of public service (ads like the ones the CBO found to be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars) where this issue is concerned.

    Good. For. Not. Patrick. Kennedy. (And. for. periods. (I. mean. the. ones. on. my. keyboard! L.O.L.)) Good for the thousands of people who are joining him to call out the marijuana industry for what it REALLY is! (A threatening competitor to pharmaceuticals, timber, cotton, oil, plastics, alcohol, tobacco, paper, prison, and rehab industries). And good for the rest of us.

    • Oh to rattle the nation’s professional shills

      It must be terrible to find yourself on the wrong side of history. Project SAM’s absurd solution to marijuana prohibition is rightly the subject of satire and contempt. After seventy five years and over a trillion dollars, the drug war is only a success to drug cartels and DEA profiteers. Project SAM offers the brilliant solution of fixing the abject failure of marijuana prohibition with a slightly relaxed marijuana prohibition. If only Project SAM could bless us with more insight how to solve national problems. Perhaps we could fix the national debt by spending five dollars less each year.

      The reason you were deemed a fear-monger was most likely because prohibition functions, or attempts to function, using fear to control the population’s decisions. Marijuana prohibition started by preying on peoples’ racist fears that blacks and Mexicans would smoke marijuana and rape white women. People were afraid of marijuana because of propaganda like this: If people were not afraid of marijuana, they were afraid of the laws criminalizing marijuana. Ronald Reagan understood this and his administration passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act that allowed mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, hence using fear to prevent people from using drugs. The real irony is that Project SAM wants to fix marijuana prohibition by making it less frightening to be a drug user. According to Project SAM there would be an emphasis on forced rehabilitation and re-education rather than incarceration. Oh Brave New World.

      I will concede that the comedic value of this website is rather low. It would have been much funnier if it was written by Bill Hicks or George Carlin, sadly, they both died of THC overdoses.

      Also, I watched the video you posted about amendment 64: The problem with Dr. Thurstone’s protect the children argument is that it fails to consider the children that are incarcerated, whose parents are incarcerated, or whose financial aid is revoked or jobs are lost all because of marijuana prohibition. If marijuana was legal and regulated it would be more difficult for children to obtain and usage would likely decrease.

      I’m sorry if my belief in freedom upsets you. There is no reason a person living in a”free country” should be banned from responsibly smoking a plant. If you want a government that controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives, there’s always room in North Korea.

  2. It’s a shame we are so fearful that we must precede or names with “NOT.” I have been taught we are the greatest nation in the world (although or actions are not always representative), and the people who founded this country are a group without fear.

    I know…I’m no Kennedy, no Ph.D., or no M.D., but if the people with those names and credentials don’t help the nobodys, like me, real change will never occur. Leadership is fearful, and our greatest humanitarians have been able to stand in bravery and say, “I am…”

    Please be brave for me. Inspire me.

    I am Frank LaPoint.

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