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Could There Be a Challenge Coming for I-502? Such as a Repeal Effort?

New group vows to prevent further marijuana legalization
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Now that I-502 has legalized recreational pot in Washington, opponents are regrouping and deciding what to do next.

The Associated Press reports former Rep. Robert Kennedy, son of the late Ted Kennedy, has joined a number of anti-drug officials across the country to fight further legalization efforts.

Former White House drug policy adviser Ken Sabet said he was approached by Kennedy, who has struggled with substance abuse, and is worried legalization efforts are sending the wrong message.

The result has been the creation of a new anti-marijuana lobby called Project SAM, which stands for “Smart Approaches to Marijuana.” More on the group from the Washington Post:

The idea is to halt the legalization movement by arguing the U.S. can ease the ills of prohibition — such as the racial disparities in arrest rates and the lifelong stigma that can come with a pot conviction — without legalizing the drug. Kennedy called marijuana a dangerous drug that lowers IQ and triggers psychosis in those genetically predisposed toward it; critics charged him with distorting the scientific evidence by cherry-picking studies that relate only to a tiny fraction of pot users.

Kennedy, who served 16 years in the House of Representatives, was a strong supporter of mental health programs and insurance coverage to cover it. He dismisses critics who claim he is just pushing a dated “Reefer Madness” mentality.

Kennedy says his own struggles with drugs and alcohol show that many people cannot use drugs recreationally without serious, life-altering consequences. No official word has come out if Project SAM or others will try to repeal I-502.

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