Former Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy has taken a hard line stance against marijuana since leaving office in 2011. Marijuana policy reformers have criticized the chairman of a new anti-marijuana group for pushing "mandatory marijuana-education programs," "working out his personal control issues in public," and overstating the addictiveness and danger of marijuana. Missing from their critiques is the fact that Kennedy has done an unacknowledged 180-degree policy reversal, practically overnight: As a representative from Rhode Island, Kennedy was an advocate for medical marijuana, an ally to the gambling industry, and a beneficiary of the tobacco and alcohol industries.
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