(Alexandria, VA) – Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the nation’s leading organization opposing the commercialization of marijuana, is proud to announce that Connecticut House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora is the recipient of the 2021 Patrick J. Kennedy Advocate of the Year Award, given to an advocate at the state-level who best champions the mission of putting public health and safety ahead of the interests of the marijuana industry.
“In the five years we have been working in Connecticut, Representative Candelora has consistently been at the forefront of the fight for public health and safety each and every step of the way,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “The people of Connecticut have been well-served by Representative Candelora’s commitment to putting people over another drug industry’s profits. In the hours before this year’s special session which ultimately led to commercialization of marijuana, Rep. Candelora was undeterred. He put together an historic press conference which laid the truth and Connecticut’s kids on the line, with no regard for his own personal gain. This is the sort of leadership our country needs during an addiction epidemic, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We at SAM know he will continue to be an ever-present thorn in the side of the marijuana industry as it attempts to further its addiction-for-profit scheme.”
“I want to thank Smart Approaches to Marijuana for honoring me with the Patrick J. Kennedy Advocate of the Year Award, it’s certainly a great honor to receive such recognition,” said Connecticut House Minority Leader Candelora. “My advocacy for the state of Connecticut in exposing the impact marijuana legalization can have on society was truly borne out of the help SAM provided for the State of Connecticut and while it is unfortunate our state has moved to legalize, we were able to implement some guardrails in the legislation to try and prevent youth use, widespread advertisement, and widespread sale of marijuana. This is just the beginning of our advocacy on this front.”