Kennedy criticized for trying to keep marijuana illegal

On Jan. 9, 2013, the Boston Globe reported:

“Kennedy’s group, called Smart Approaches to Marijuana — which is also led by a top pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston and a Cambridge-based drug policy expert — is warning of a public health crisis unless a science-based approach is taken to minimizing the harmful consequences of marijuana — especially among youth.

“The nonprofit supports making the medicinal properties of marijuana available to patients and is in favor of decriminalizing recreational use and keeping users out of jail. But it asserts marijuana should remain a controlled substance and plans to launch a public education campaign focused on the need to screen users to ensure they are not addicted and at risk of causing long term harm to their mental health.”

The story also cited the support of another SAM director, Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Children’s Hospital Boston:

“Marijuana is really bad for your brain,” she said, citing depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. Research also shows it can be addictive for some and trigger psychosis in those genetically predisposed to it.

“We have people telling us there is nothing wrong with marijuana. And much like cigarettes back then, you can now find scantily clad women…advertising marijuana. We have been through this before. Like cigarettes, marijuana suppliers’ most profitable customers are adolescents, who are the most vulnerable and will most suffer from long term affects.”

We hope you’ll read the full story online here.