I’m watching this show on medical marijuana on CNN while waiting on Game of Thrones, and guess who figures prominently as anti-marijuana:
As a hard-partying teenager, Patrick Kennedy met President Reagan at a fundraiser for the JFK Library, a meeting captured in a photograph that the former Rhode Island congressman now hangs in his home office. He used to think of it as a funny episode, a collision of Camelot’s cocaine kid and America’s foremost opponent of illegal drug use. But Kennedy took his last hit of anything in 2009, and he’s since honed an anti-drug message that sounds a bit like Reagan with a Boston brogue.
Kennedy believes there is “an epidemic in this country of epic dimensions when it comes to alcohol and drugs.” He’d like to treat it all, but he’s convinced that the single biggest threat to America’s mental health is free-market marijuana. So even as Democrats favor the legalization of pot—by a 34-point margin, according to the latest WSJ/NBC News poll—the scion of America’s most famous Democratic family has broken ranks, criticized the White House, and aligned with the likes of Newt Gingrich to warn voters against trying to tax and regulate today’s psychoactive chlorophyll.
“I don’t think the American public has any clue about this stuff,” says Kennedy, after welcoming guests with a choice of Gatorade or bottled water.
The “stuff” in question is modern marijuana, of course, which gets pumped into snack foods and candies, and carries more THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gets you high) than the ditch weed used by the hippie generation. Kennedy calls legalization “a public health nightmare” because he believes it will warm more people to a dangerous drug, and lead inevitably to “Big Marijuana,” a blood-sucking vice industry dependent on converting kids and selling to heavy users—same as the tobacco and alcohol industries.
It’s a real shame Teddy Kennedy isn’t alive to kick his son and his nephew’s (RFK, JR.), anti-vaxxer extraordinaire, asses. Although Ted’s hands aren’t completely clean, because he helped shepherd the 1986 drug law that enacted mandatory minimums and created the ridiculous sentencing disparities for crack v. powder cocaine that ruined lives for a quarter century before it was changed in 2010. That 1986 bill went a long way to making the god damned mess of a drug war we have today.
And why would Kennedy have done that? Google Len Bias and see what team drafted him.