Patrick Kennedy on marijuana: 'Destroys the brain and expedites psychosis'
Category: Politics | Posted on Wed, January, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
For a generation of liberals, legalization of marijuana has become a harmless — if not inevitable — issue.
Not for Patrick Kennedy. The former Rhode Island congressman and scion of the famed Democratic dynasty has taken a surprising turn to the right in this debate.
“Marijuana destroys the brain and expedites psychosis,” he told us Tuesday. “It’s just overall a very dangerous drug.”
Kennedy’s public battles with alcohol and prescription drugs are well known. Was pot an issue for him? He’s used it but wouldn’t elaborate. Still, it’s all part of the same conversation for him: “In terms of neurobiology, there’s no distinction between the quality and types of drugs that people get addicted to. That’s why they call it a gateway drug. Addiction is addiction is addiction.”
Supporters attending an Amendment 64 watch party last November celebrate after the marijuana amendment's passage, which made it legal in Colorado for individuals to possess marijuana for recreational use. (Brennan Linsley/AP) After 16 years in Congress, Kennedy, 45, left Washington two years ago and began traveling the country to see how legislation he spearheaded on mental health is being implemented. He’s become convinced that marijuana (“the biggest single threat to the cause I care so much about”) is as destructive as alcohol and tobacco and just launched Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) to shift the debate from legalization to prevention and treatment — despite what appears to be a growing social acceptance of the drug.
A passionate Kennedy cited his years researching mental health issues in Congress, consulting with experts in the field and his own experiences in rehab.
Marijuana Legalization Petition Draws White House Response
Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
The White House weighed in once more Tuesday on the issue of marijuana legalization, responding to a trio of highly popular petitions submitted to its "We the People" website.
President Barack Obama's administration dispatched Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and a well-known marijuana foe, to handle the query. He began by acknowledging that the nation was "in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana," and then referred petitioners to the administration's previous response to recent legalization measures passed in Colorado and Washington. Kerlikowske declined to say what, if any, progress had been made on the Justice Department's review of those states' initiatives, and went on to quote from Obama's most recent comments on marijuana legalization, given to Barbara Walter of ABC News.
Kerlikowske selected a particularly innocuous segment of Obama's response, in which the president describes the necessity for his administration to "reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal."
The administration has responded to petitions on marijuana legalization in the past. Before "We the People" was utilized predominantly as a forum to air strange grievances, push for the deportation of a British media personality or express Star Wars fanaticism, it was used primarily to press the administration on drug policy.
Marijuana legalization advocates eventually got a response, also from Kerlikowske, that then broke no new ground on the longheld White House position that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical value.
In its latest response, it appears that the administration has at least been forced to shift the framing of their approach to the issue of marijuana legalization. That said, they are apparently not yet ready to answer questions about a federal response to the recent progress in Colorado and Washington.
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