New Group Opposes Marijuana Legalization Movement

A group opposing marijuana legalization, called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), is launching Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, who has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, chairs the organization.

Board members include former White House drug policy adviser Kevin Sabet and David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, the article notes. “Our country is about to go down the wrong road, in the opposite direction of sound mental health policy,” Kennedy told the AP. “It’s just shocking as a public health issue that we seem to be looking the other way as this legalization of marijuana becomes really glamorous.”

The group argues the country can tackle issues such as the racial disparities in arrest rates, and the lifelong stigma that can result from a marijuana conviction, without legalizing the drug. It hopes to raise money to oppose legalization efforts around the country, shape the new marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado, promote alternatives to jail time for marijuana users, and encourage scientific research on the effects of the drug.

Kennedy says low-level marijuana offenders should pay a fine instead of going to jail. He adds that if marijuana is more accessible, more people will experiment with it, including young people whose brains are still developing, and seem to be most susceptible to addiction. If a large marijuana industry is created, it could target teens in the same way tobacco companies have, Kennedy stated.

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    April 10, 2015 at 4:12 AM

    Mr Kennedy has some very good ideas.
    There are, however, several flaws in his mission statement.

    First, he warns that IF a large MJ industry is created….
    HELLO! That ship sailed a long time ago!
    A large MJ industry has existed in the U.S. for DECADES already!

    He also says that ‘if MJ is more accessible, more people will experiment with it’.
    TRUE! That ship has also sailed thanks, in no small part, to groups like his.
    Today MJ is easier to access than beer or cigs. Especially to underage Americans!
    Because it is not regulated and controlled like beer or cigs!
    It’s sold only on the black market, with NO quality control. And it is EVERYWHERE!

    This article is a little dated. Colorado and Washington DC have already shaped new laws which have legalized cannabis. There is nothing ‘glamorous’ about MJ legalization. A better word would be ‘realistic’ when referring to legal MJ.

    Let’s take a brief look at just a few of the consequences of MJ prohibition:
    The creation of ‘spice’, a MJ substitute, that has led users to literally eat the face off of another man as a direct result of smoking this poison, amongst other tragic horrors. A poison who’s only reason for existance are to take advantage of laws against MJ to create a market for some kind of substitute.
    A wealthy cartel of murdering Mexican MJ dealers who’s power is only possible because of our laws against MJ.
    Untold lung damage from smoking something that could be sold as baked goods if legal, avoiding future lung problems for Americans.
    The FORTUNE we have squandered fighting MJ use here AND in other countries where it is grown, COULD be used to fight violent crime or treatment for drug addicted Americans.

    Then there is the cost of incarceration for MJ offenders, the fouling of protected forests in Cali where Mexicans enslave others to grow MJ without a care for the environment, OUR protected national parks! The hypocracy of the FDA who classify THC as not medically useful while they also classify it as a class 2 treatment for glaucoma and other ailments.
    Little, if any, comprehensive education about MJ. Our leaders choose ‘Reefer Madness’ like propaganda instead of realistically educating people about what MJ really does and doesn’t do to the body.
    The further hypocracy of raking in BILLIONS by taxing more dangerous substances like alcohol and tobacco and selling them freely. How much more obvious can they make it that this is really about the almighty dollar?

    And the list goes on and on and on. There is literally not enough room here to list all the benefits of legalization vs all the harm of prohibition.

    These are not my opinions. Everything I just stated is an UNDISPUTED FACT!
    I challenge ANYONE to show that anything I stated here is not 100% factual.

    You don’t have to agre with me. Many people find ‘denial’ more comforting than the truth but here is something that even the most perverted politician can’t deny. And pay close attention because this trumps everything that you want and I want and Mr Kennedy wants:

    This is SO important because it crushes the ability of groups like this to even have a chance to work. Read it again and let it sink in. Then put your thinking cap on.

    With that being the factual situation THAT WILL NEVER EVER CHANGE, the only question left to ask is:

    Do we keep letting the Mexican drug lords gain power from our gargantuan MJ market in the U.S. Or do we FINALLY take control of the market, and tax and regulate it, so is no longer accessible to children and profitable to drug dealers?

    As the country with the largest amount of our population in prison IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, can we really say that we are ‘The Land of the Free’???

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    March 14, 2015 at 1:34 AM

    Where do I begin. I am against legalizing marijuana altogether. I do not want to smell it every minute of the day and night. We have worked so hard to make so many cities non smoking and then we have to worry about this issue which is a very big issue in multi level living. My daughter and I are affected by our neighbors smoking all throughout the night. You can’t tell me that it isn’t addicting. They can’t stop. They don’t do anything else but smoke too. We don’t even know which room is the safest to sleep at night. And I have to keep moving to get away from it, if it gets legalized we will be dealing with this issue way worse than any other issue that we have had to work with.

    The addiction rate will become higher, as the driving under the influence of marijuana has increased at rapid levels. it’s not even legal to smoke without a card but I see that more than half of my apartment complex has come up with some fake reason to use marijuana. They are liers. There is no way that that many people in my complex are in that much need for something that is not necessary. Their whole demeanor and behaviors have changed too. All the neighbors I know are using have become such hermits and don’t socialize anymore. That is my experience in just my apartment living. These are people that lived life to the fullest and happy. Now they are grouchy and sit at home all day so that they can get high. Even their faces look scary too. Their looks have dramatically gotten scary looking over time. Even the young 20 year olds just stay home and not go out with their friends. It brings sadness to me since young adults should be happy, full of life, and living their dreams. Now all they do is sit home, smoke all day with their parents. They are losers now. They will never move out of their parents home. I have a grandmother 80 years old, and her daughter who is 60 with her two daughters in their mid 20’s and one of the 20’s boyfriend who is in his 30’s, total of 5 people in a 2 bedroom apartment because they want to use the money for this drug, marijuana. You can’t tell me that that is a winning situation and something we want to see for our future children. Who by the way will be taking care of our nation.

    Also, no laws, and I mean no laws were passed before the drug became legal in Colorado or Washington. They passed it without being smart and thinking ahead and people are driving on it and working under the influence.

    Let’s make sure it doesn’t get legalized.

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    October 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    I support keeping pot illegal and getting states to make pot smoking illegal
    I cant believe this stuff is legal and so many people are falling for the lies that smoking pot using it in any way is good or unharmful
    Are you serious!?
    come on people wake up I know humans are not this dump to fall for this
    Or maybe they all know but dont care and are lying to themselves and others
    I have watched people ruin there lives smoking pot
    NO one can convince me of all the stupid media that pot is OKAY and good for you
    ha ha
    wow come whats wrong with this society
    so many people get a scrpit to either make money or get high and party or both

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    John Smith

    September 30, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    I will support this movement with my tax dollars. We do not need to legalize this drug, which it is, at the federal level. Need to get high? How about putting your energy on staying sober and helping others with that money you use to buy pot. I will continue on reporting its use if I see anyone using this drug. I do not want to drive on the same highways with a user being high. It influences your memory and cognitive skills behind a car, period.

    No argument is going to sway us saying you pot heads do not support terrorism by supplying the cartels in mexico pushing this drug across the border. Fix the economy first, and we will see about letting our politicians support decriminalizing this drug. Not before. Illegal emigration needs fixed along with getting the economy on track. Taxing your drug will not help you find a career. Want to sell pot all of your life in a head shop? No one does. Fix poverty first. I see tons of users, who started with marijuana, homeless on the streets. They are still using it too.

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    September 25, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    It is not up to our government to limit a persons liberties without that person committing a crime against another individual. What crime is being committed when a person smokes or possesses marijuana? Who is the victim?

    Campaigns against marijuana legalization are campaigns against peoples liberties. They are campaigns which will most certainly lose as people gain knowledge of their individual rights.

    Stop fighting legalization and put more forethought into how you will prepare for this inevitable future. Considering what a person consumes should be their own liberty, marijuana will be the least of your worries. Worry about convicting and prosecuting people who actually commit crimes instead of people who are simply suspected to have a high potential to commit crimes.

    Just because a person is addicted to crack or meth does not mean they are infringing on another persons rights, liberties, health, or happiness. Yet we treat them as if they do based on outdated superficial bias. Let’s stop incarcerating innocent people and start helping them. Let our law enforcement worry about criminals instead of suspicious characters. Being suspicious is not a crime, or at least I don’t believe it was supposed to be.

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