Pot opponents regroup after WA, CO votes

Pot opponents regroup after WA, CO votes

Credit: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: A budtender pours marijuana from a jar at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in 2006, on July 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to ban storefront medical marijuana dispensaries and to order them to close or face legal action. The council also voted to instruct staff to draw up a separate ordinance for consideration in about three months that might allow dispensaries that existed before a 2007 moratorium on new dispensaries to continue to operate. It is estimated that Los Angeles has about one thousand such facilities. The ban does not prevent patients or cooperatives of two or three people to grow their own in small amounts. Californians voted to legalize medical cannabis use in 1996, clashing with federal drug laws. The state Supreme Court is expected to consider ruling on whether cities can regulate and ban dispensaries. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 1:13 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy is leading a new group trying to halt the spread of legal marijuana.

The son of late Sen. Ted Kennedy has joined former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum and former White House drug policy adviser Kevin Sabet in launching Project SAM — for "smart approaches to marijuana." The organization argues the U.S. can cure the ills of pot prohibition, such as racial disparities in who gets busted and the lifelong stigma that can come with a conviction, without legalizing the drug as Washington and Colorado have done.

Kennedy says he has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for much of his life, and he made mental health issues a priority in Congress. He says pot legalization is becoming a glamorous cause, and that's troubling.

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