The lobby groups that fought hard to stop the passing of legislation that legalized marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington State were beaten but not stopped when those bills passed. As the states work to determine exactly how to proceed and regulate a formerly illegal substance, the anti-marijuana advocate groups are rebuilding and now they have a Kennedy at their helm, according to the Seattle Times.
Fighting the Rising Tide
Former Democratic representative from Rhode Island Patrick Kennedy announced that he’s starting a group to fight the legalization of marijuana called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Kevin Sabet, drug policy advisor to the White House, as well as others with a strong and vocal stance against the legalization of marijuana are all on the group’s advisory board. Perhaps less important than the Kennedy name is Patrick’s personal struggle with recovery as well as the long history of addiction in his family. Personal conviction and anecdotal evidence of the damage caused by ongoing addiction is the most powerful tool in the belt of groups fighting against a drug that is now legal in two states and whose legalization is being considered by numerous other states.
Anti-Legalization Stance Does Not Necessarily Support Criminalization of Addiction
Some supporters of legalizing marijuana say that it’s clear that the current criminalization of addiction has proven to be ineffective. They’re right. However, legalizing all substances or just marijuana is not necessarily the answer to the problem of addiction either. In between those two is the continued identification of those who have a drug problem by law enforcement with the end result being mandatory drug treatment – not prison time. When addicts get help, they can stop using drugs and build a positive life for themselves. When they are simply handed the legal right to get high, they lose the net that would catch them before they fall into an overdose, serious criminal behavior, or deadly accident.
Helping Your Loved One Beat Addiction
If you are concerned that the legalization of marijuana will only serve to increase the problems your family member is currently experiencing due to drug and alcohol abuse, the best way to address the problem is to help them enroll in a treatment program that will help them learn how to live without drugs and alcohol completely. At Alta Mira, we offer evidence-based care that has the goal of helping your loved one find abstinence. Call now to learn more about our intensive addiction treatment programs and help your loved one avoid the risks of drug dependence.