Former congressman Patrick Kennedy says he has established a group to lobby against legalized marijuana. The former eight-term representative from the northeast U.S. state of Rhode Island says efforts to legalize marijuana are well-intentioned but misguided.
He says his group “Project SAM” – for Smart Approaches to Marijuana – will instead lobby for increased treatment for marijuana and drug abuse.
He says making marijuana legal would introduce a new substance comparable to alcohol and tobacco that would cause more public health problems than it would solve.
Kennedy is a self-confessed former oxycontin addict and is the younger son of the late Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy.
His group's efforts follow the November election that saw voters in Washington state and Colorado become the first to approve measures to tax and regulate marijuana sales for recreational use.