Kennedy Fights the War on Drugs
The honorable Patrick Kennedy, is fighting the war on drugs, and this time he is looking to stop the legalization of marijuana. Kennedy is traveling the country as chairman of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which he formed in January and which now has affiliates in five states. Kennedy long ago made his battle with depression, alcohol and drug abuse public.. In 2006, he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car into a barrier near the U.S. Capitol. His problems forced him to retire from the House of Representatives.
Kennedy once backed using marijuana as medicine, but now feels he knows the real facts and is again any legalization. Kennedy said he’s partly to blame for the rush to legalize because he didn’t speak out sooner. But he said he didn’t understand the big picture until he began working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research now makes it clear that marijuana is a gateway drug that can induce psychosis and cause teens to lose IQ points they’ll never recover, creating devastating health consequences. Kennedy called the legalization effort “a knee-jerk reaction” and said it will lead to more teens smoking pot, making more of them susceptible to addiction. And with marijuana use surpassing tobacco use among teens, Kennedy said they face a greater risk because of the rising potency of the drug.
By year’s end, Project SAM expects to be operating in 13 states. It already has affiliates in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island.