Patrick Kennedy Asks Illinois Lawmakers To Oppose Cannabis Legalization

Patrick cites “devastating consequences” for public health

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy is urging Illinois lawmakers not to legalize marijuana, warning that the commercialization of pot will have “devastating consequences” for public health.

Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, is the co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which lobbies against legalization nationwide. After getting in a car crash in 2006, he wrote a book, “A Common Struggle,” about his fight with bipolar disorder and abuse of OxyContin and alcohol. He later launched Kennedy Forum Illinois, to advocate for better access to treatment of mental health and drug abuse.

In his letter this week, Kennedy warned that the drug is being put into kid-friendly gummy bears, ice creams and sodas, and that high-potency extracts are far more powerful than grass of the past. Noting investments by alcohol and tobacco companies in the lucrative industry, Kennedy concluded, “We must put public health and safety — and our kids — ahead of the interests of Big Marijuana.”

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