Patrick Kennedy: Just Say No to Pot
Kennedy son launching anti-marijuana group
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2013 9:13 AM CST
Edward Kennedy Jr. and former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy, right, attend a campaign event for Elizabeth Warren in Boston, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – When one hears of a member of an American political dynasty crusading against addictive substances, one does not immediately think "Kennedy." Yet here's Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted and a former Rhode Island congressman, who is launching an anti-pot group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Kennedy, who fought a public battle with pills and alcohol, is now a mental health advocate and denounces marijuana as a drug that "destroys the brain and expedites psychosis," reports the Washington Post.

“In terms of neurobiology, there’s no distinction between the quality and types of drugs that people get addicted to. That’s why they call it a gateway drug. Addiction is addiction is addiction," he says. He's dabbled in pot himself, though won't say whether he was addicted. Pot advocates were quick to decry Kennedy's new group. "If Mr. Kennedy is truly concerned about public health and safety, I cannot fathom why he would prefer that adults use alcohol instead of making the safer choice of marijuana,” says one advocate. The first SAM event will take place tomorrow in Denver, where the drug became legal in December.