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Ex-RI Rep. Kennedy lobbies against legal marijuana

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Patrick Kennedy

Former Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy (AP Photo)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy says he’s established a group to lobby against legalized marijuana.

The ex-congressman says efforts around the United States to legalize marijuana are well-intentioned but misguided.

The Providence Journal reports that Kennedy’s group, Project SAM – for Smart Approaches to Marijuana – will instead lobby for increased treatment for marijuana and drug abuse.

He says making marijuana legal would introduce a new substance comparable to alcohol and tobacco that would cause more public health problems than it would solve.

Kennedy also says he is skeptical about medical marijuana. He says it misdirects compassion for those who suffer from cancer and other diseases to support for an extreme drug policy.

Rhode Island allows the regulated use and cultivation of marijuana to treat some medical conditions.

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