MPP is taking issue with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy's plan to force marijuana consumers into treatment and marijuana "education" classes, which his new organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), is scheduled to unveil in Denver on Thursday.
"The proposal is on par with forcing every alcohol user into treatment at their own cost or at a cost to the state," said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. "In fact, it would be less logical because the science is clear that marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to be associated with acts of violence."
MPP is calling on Kennedy, whose family made a fortune selling alcohol, to explain why he wants to keep an objectively less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal. Specifically, MPP is asking Kennedy to address the question on SAM's website and provide facts regarding the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol. MPP also launched an online petition this morning asking Kennedy to provide an explanation or resign as chairman of SAM, which received more than 1,500 signatures within the first hour of being posted – http://chn.ge/13e9Qjl
"Former Congressman Kennedy's proposal is the definition of hypocrisy," Tvert said. "He is living in part off of the fortune his family made by selling alcohol while leading a campaign that makes it seem like marijuana – an objectively less harmful product – is the greatest threat to public health.”
"If this group truly cares about public health, it should be providing the public with facts regarding the relative harms of marijuana and discouraging the use of the more harmful product," Tvert continued. "Why on earth would they want keep a less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal? Former Congressman Kennedy and his organization should answer this question before calling on our government to start forcing people into treatment programs and throwing them into marijuana ‘education’ camps."
The organization, which claims such anti-marijuana zealots as Kevin Sabet and David Frum as members, purports to represent a moderate “third way” of marijuana policy that is supposedly a compromise between legalization and prohibition. The reality is that a well-regulated and taxed system to control cultivation and sale of marijuana is the truly moderate position between total unregulated legalization and the failed policies that constitute the government’s war on marijuana.
Leave it to prohibitionists to inaccurately frame a debate!