Project SAM’s Patrick Kennedy: “Treatment or Jail” for Pot Users

About five years ago, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy
(D-R.I.) of those Kennedys cleaned up his act and got sober. No
more drugs and booze. Good for him.

These days, Kennedy gets his kicks by pushing “treatment or
jail” for pot users. He’s part of Project SAM (“Smart Alternatives
to Marijuana”), which is pushing back against the 58 percent of
Americans who now believe that pot should be regulated in a manner
similar to beer, wine, and alcohol. Bad for him – and the rest of
us too, if he and his colleagues succeed in maintaining drug
policies that have exacerbated every bad outcome they seek to
ameliorate.

Here’s a snippet from a recent NBC News story on Kennedy.
Spoiler alert: It’s pretty appalling stuff, full of the subject
generalizing from his own failure to control or moderate his
substance-abuse problems to recommendations of locking up
folks.

Kennedy believes there is “an epidemic in this country of epic
dimensions when it comes to alcohol and drugs.” He’d like to treat
it all, but he’s convinced that the single biggest threat to
America’s mental health is free-market marijuana. So even as
Democrats favor the legalization of pot—by a 34-point margin,
according to the latest WSJ/NBC News poll—the scion of America’s
most famous Democratic family has broken ranks, criticized the
White House, and aligned with the likes of Newt Gingrich to warn
voters against trying to tax and regulate today’s psychoactive
chlorophyll.

“I don’t think the American public has any clue about this
stuff,” says Kennedy, after welcoming guests with a choice of
Gatorade or bottled water….

“The appetite for Americans to lose themselves is just…” Kennedy
shakes his head and seems too pained to finish the thought. His
six-week-old daughter was fussy the night before, and it was his
turn to shush and pace. In the hallway, near a stairway to where
his 20-month-old son is napping, there’s a toy fire engine and
Kennedy’s eyes return to it again and again. Suddenly, he seems to
be on the brink of tears.

“This is the stuff of life,” he says, trying to explain his
passion for drug policy, “so you bet I’m emotional about it.”


Whole thing here.

I debated pot legalization with Kennedy a few weeks back on CNN.

Details here
. Watch below.

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