But do I mean I approve or I punish? Merrill Perlman discusses the opposite (but not really) meanings of sanction over at her Language Corner at the Columbia Journalism Review:
If you take a closer look, however, both uses of “sanction” hew to the same overall definition: subject to the law or regulations that govern the conduct. Context is the key, as it is for so many things. “Sanction” in a negative sense is almost always accompanied by other negative words—punishment, actionable, violation. When it’s used in a positive sense, it almost always stands alone, with no qualitative accompaniments.
And in case you're wondering, I definitely approve.