Project SAM's Patrick Kennedy: "Treatment or Jail" for Pot Users

About five years ago, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) of those Kennedys cleaned up his act and got sober. No more drugs and booze. Good for him.

These days, Kennedy gets his kicks by pushing "treatment or jail" for pot users. He's part of Project SAM ("Smart Alternatives to Marijuana"), which is pushing back against the 58 percent of Americans who now believe that pot should be regulated in a manner similar to beer, wine, and alcohol. Bad for him - and the rest of us too, if he and his colleagues succeed in maintaining drug policies that have exacerbated every bad outcome they seek to ameliorate.

Here's a snippet from a recent NBC News story on Kennedy. Spoiler alert: It's pretty appalling stuff, full of the subject generalizing from his own failure to control or moderate his substance-abuse problems to recommendations of locking up folks.

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 appetite for Americans to lose themselves is just…” Kennedy shakes his head and seems too pained to finish the thought. His six-week-old daughter was fussy the night before, and it was his turn to shush and pace. In the hallway, near a stairway to where his 20-month-old son is napping, there’s a toy fire engine and Kennedy’s eyes return to it again and again. Suddenly, he seems to be on the brink of tears.

“This is the stuff of life,” he says, trying to explain his passion for drug policy, “so you bet I’m emotional about it.”

Whole thing here.

I debated pot legalization with Kennedy a few weeks back on CNN. Details here. Watch below.

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  • Andrew S.||

    A better slogan for them could be "if you use pot, you could turn into a Kennedy". That's enough to scare me sober.

  • Brett L||

    My favorite anti-drug poster: "Heroin may not kill you, it may just make you look like Keith Richards" above a pic of Keith at his late-70s worst.

  • General Butt Naked||

    That's actually a really smart campaign.

    I mean what kind of loser kid would wanna grow up to be a guy that tours the world playing music for a living, has made hundreds of millions of dollars and has slept with innumerable beautiful women?

  • Brett L||

    Ugh. No passion like that of a convert.

  • Almanian!||

    This - "The Curse of the Ex-Smokers".

    I'm one of the [apparently] rare ex-smokers who doesn't think all smokers should be killed and dragged through the streets.

    Looks like Kennedy's not.

    SPEAKING of smoking. Hey! Patrick Kennedy, you statist fuck! I quit smoking pot in my 20's. I've had a helluva career in bidness - gonna retire in about 5 years. The day I do, know what I'm gonna do?

    Start smoking pot again...count on it.

    Fuck you, you typical former-used schmuck statist puke. I hope your girlfriend drives you off a bridge and you drown.

  • Christophe||

    Reverse-Ted-Kennedy.

    Kinky...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's a tragic shame tar and feathers have gone out of style in political discourse.

  • PD Scott||

    If only there had been a tar and feather lobby somewhere on K Street...

  • ||

    Wow. That is some serious emotional imbalance on display. Ironically, that guy might not want to steal, torture, torment, and murder people so much if he would just light up a doobie.

  • Brett L||

    You might think that if you didn't know the two generations he came from.

  • Mongo||

    Project SAM? -- sounds gay.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    About five years ago, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) of those Kennedys cleaned up his act and got sober. No more drugs and booze. Good for him.

    How about no more helping his cousin cover up sexual assaults? Did the fucking entitled piece of shit make amends for that?

  • SweatingGin||

    “The appetite for Americans to lose themselves is just…” Kennedy shakes his head and seems too pained to finish the thought. His six-week-old daughter was fussy the night before, and it was his turn to shush and pace. In the hallway, near a stairway to where his 20-month-old son is napping, there’s a toy fire engine and Kennedy’s eyes return to it again and again. Suddenly, he seems to be on the brink of tears.

    “This is the stuff of life,” he says, trying to explain his passion for drug policy, “so you bet I’m emotional about it.”

    Drunk right then? Over-emotional? pained internally? Yea, I'm thinking he maybe had a little tip of the ol' aftershave.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kennedy believes-

    Stop right there.

  • Brett L||

    "It is currently convenient for Kennedy to espouse..."

  • Rich||

    “I don’t think"

    Stop right there.

  • mr simple||

    an epidemic in this country of epic dimensions

    So he has no idea what epidemic or epic mean?

  • steve walsh||

    And there we have the essence of this man, so easily and simply communicated. When do we get the study of the correlation of idiocy among inherited wealth individuals like Pat?

  • Rhywun||

    So he has no idea what epidemic or epic mean?

    I dunno but it means I won't bother reading anything further that he has to say.

  • Rebekah||

    Nothing says FOR THE CHILDREN! like locking them in rape cages and ruining their chances for a productive future.

  • ||

    Why isn't Kennedy in treatment or jail?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    “Life isn’t really in our control,” says Kennedy, as another sober day fades to night. “There’s a mover in the universe, a higher power, so to speak, and we can’t imagine what we’re going to find in our universe if we let go and just let God lead us.”

    Kennedy failed. The second you retreat into mysticism, you cede the debate to those who maintain a rational view of the world. Nothing Kennedy says should be taken seriously. His words are just as devoid of semantic content as the howling and ululations of a Bedlam inmate. Kennedy's views have no place in a society that was build upon the recognition of the value and agency of individual human beings. Indeed, Kennedy wishes to legislate by fatwa, imagining himself to be an erudite and enlightening cleric who has unique insight into the will of God, and thus has no need to justify his pronouncements through appeals to reason.

  • ||

    "we can’t imagine what we’re going to find in our universe if we let go and just let God lead us.”

    Actually, if one actually believes that, then that's more an argument for libertarianism than anything else. If God really is in control like you think, then why do you feel the need to do the controlling?

  • SugarFree||

    "God is working through me to help Him control the sins of others."

  • ||

    Ah, I see. If we just let go and let Kenn...err, I mean God lead us.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If God really is in control like you think, then why do you feel the need to do the controlling?

    Yeah, I doubt Kennedy has read much Søren Kierkegaard.

  • Curtisls87||

    Here he's actually referring to a phrase that is used by many 12-steppers but he completely botches the meaning of it. Let go and let God is aimed at the inner self, not at others. It harkens to the idea that the exercise of power over others is what gets them in trouble - precisely opposite of what he's actually doing which is trying to control others.
    I've been a member of a 12 step program for 27 years, and I believe that all drugs should be legalized. Whatever internal struggles I have had with the use of drugs is just that, my internal struggle. It is not my place to decide if some other person has a problem with the use of a substance, and further, I know that many can use pot and other drugs without problem.
    I would also add that from my experience, mandating people to treatment is counterproductive. People who truly need help will only get it when they decide they have a problem. Others may not have a problem at all other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and thus busted for pot, for example), and their being forced into treatment will have a deleterious effect on them, and also lessen the efficacy of the treatment for others that actually want to be there.

  • Curtisls87||

    One last thing - why is someone even giving this guy a podium from which to spout his nonsense. This is just yellow journalism on the part of NBC.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I don't see mysticism as a problem, it depends on the kind of mysticism and what you do with it. Or perhaps I'm using too broad a definition?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I was employing a rather narrow definition, yes. Mysticism as ignorance of one's (God-given?) rational faculties.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK, if that's the definition then it's a Bad Thing.

    But if it means some kind of effort to make contact with the transcendent, then there would be nothing irrational about it.

  • Jack Holby||

    “I don’t think the American public has any clue about this stuff,” says Kennedy.

    He is actually correct in this statement. This is due to the decades of government propaganda that has created a populace that at best thinks anyone that partakes of the EVUL WEEDS!!11! is a stoner/pothead/whatever who is destroying their brains.

    Fuck you, you ignorant fuck for projecting your inability to enjoy a mild intoxicant onto others.

  • ||

    "but he’s convinced that the single biggest threat to America’s mental health is free-market marijuana."

    As opposed to black market marijuana?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As opposed to black market marijuana?

    YES! Read the article, they are so fucking crazy they actually state that.

  • ||

    Holy hell. That is epic levels of stupid.

    To paraphrase, people who previously have not bothered trying to get around the rules by selling an illegal substance that will land you years in prison if caught are more likely to get around the rules and be more ruthless than those that currently do take that risk.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand. Marijuana use is immoral. Just as stealing, raping and murdering are immoral. In fact, there is no moral difference between smoking dope and committing rape. Free-market marijuana sends the message that smoking marijuana isn't immoral. That's no different than legalizing rape. No different at all.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    POT CULTURE*!


    *Wait, that's actually a thing; whereas, the term I mock isn't.

  • Grumpy Old Timer||

    Did anyone read the NBC article? Check out the author, Tony Dokoupil, whose last big splash was the suicide epidemic.
    Sound familiar? What epidemic is next on his list of career builders?

  • mr simple||

    "The liquor industry is so powerful, there's no way he's going to regulate the sale to minors..."

    It's already fucking illegal, you inbred, shit-licking fetus! What do you think regulation means?

  • Anomalous||

    Because it's not appropriate for children, adults should not be allowed to have it. He sounds like your typical right-wing Daddy State lover.

  • ||

    Holy hell. That is epic levels of stupid.

    To paraphrase, people who previously have not bothered trying to get around the rules by selling an illegal substance that will land you years in prison if caught are more likely to get around the rules and be more ruthless than those that currently do take that risk.

  • ||

    This was meant for response to HM above.

  • DdC||

    Project SCAM
    http://endingcannabisprohibiti.....sreply/752
    Forcing Pot Smokers Into “Prehab”

    Their father’s are rolling over in their Martini glasses…
    http://endingcannabisprohibiti.....sreply/750

  • SIV||

    Fucking SoCons!

  • GILMORE||

    "“This is the stuff of life,” he says"

    For whatever reason, I am imagining this to be a cue for Sade to roll into the picture and begin her new hit tune, 'Stuff of Life', while rolling a huge spliff.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If the thread weren't dead, I'd share what I learned by Googling his impaired driving conviction (prescription meds, not MJ). He was put on probation and required to get treatment, etc. If he failed to follow the requirements of probation, the underlying sentence would be triggered: ten days in jail and a $300 fine.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If the thread weren't dead, I'd share what I learned by Googling his impaired driving conviction (prescription meds, not MJ). He was put on probation and required to get treatment, etc. If he failed to follow the requirements of probation, the underlying sentence would be triggered: ten days in jail and a $300 fine.

  • GILMORE||

    THREADS NEVER DIE

    THEY GAY AWAY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Cw6-xRHdg

    That said = on the "people who've suddenly decided Weed isn't like, a big deal anymore because its politically popular enough to do so"-list, we can now include (drum roll)...

    Kofi Annan...and CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta =

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08.....hpt=ila_r1

    [who, btw, is a maddening douche in his Mea Culpa's over how he was Poltically Correct before, and will be Politically Correct now, but hey = he meant well!

    "Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot."

    Well, I am here to apologize.

    I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough.")

    ..Seriously, everyone short of Dr Andrew Weil has basically jumped on the fucking "derp Obvious!" bandwagon by now. Pat Kennedy isn't just being a statist prick = he's being an idiotic politician by deciding to Double Down on stupid at exactly the moment everyone else is trying to declare peace on drugs.

  • Nooge.||

    The guy's a Kennedy. What do you expect? Integrity and critical thinking?

  • Christophe||

    May he get shot by some trigger happy cops in a no-knock raid based on an anonymous tip. That's the world he's wishing for.

  • RishJoMo||

    mAN THAT DUDE JSUT LOOKS CORRUPT AS THE DAY IS LONG.

    www.RealAnon.tk

  • cheap kits||

    an epidemic in this country of epic dimensions
    So he has no idea what epidemic or epic mean?And there we have the essence of this man, so easily and simply communicated. When do we get the study of the correlation of idiocy among inherited wealth individuals like Pat?

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