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Texans Standing Tall
Michael Sparks has been working with states and local communities to reduce alcohol and other drug problems for most of his 35 years in prevention. Michael’s area of specialization has been the translation of evidence-based alcohol policies into the community context. He has worked with coalitions across the US to carry out alcohol policy initiatives to reduce harms.
His work in addressing problems associated with marijuana began in 2008 with analyzing the emerging powerful marijuana industry and the individual and community consequences of increased marijuana availability in California. With increased attention and pressure to liberalize marijuana laws taking hold in states and communities across the country, Michael helped pioneer the utilization of local zoning tools that enable cities and counties to regulate if, how, when and where medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites can operate. To this end, he has worked with numerous communities in their efforts to build local regulatory structures related to both medical and legal recreation marijuana. Michael has co-authored model medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation ordinances for local communities to implement.