Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a long-time advocate for people with addiction and mental illness, is leading a new group calling for a different approach to marijuana policy.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana will advocate for alternatives to incarceration, expanded mental health and addiction treatment and the provision of non-smoked cannabis medicines to sick patients (without waiting for FDA approval) at taxpayer expense.
It will also oppose legalization, not wanting a Big Tobacco-like industry in the marijuana sphere.
From the viewpoint of traditional liberalism, which Patrick and his family have championed as well as anyone in my lifetime, this is the logical policy mix (see Adam Serwer in the same vein). Curbing incarceration and using the power of government to aid the sick are honorable pillars of American liberalism. Entrusting public health to corporations in contrast is both naive and much more in line with a libertarian/pro-business conservative mindset.
UPDATE: Comments are back on, thanks to Steve or whoever fixed that. I have re-titled the post to better reflect its content, our blogging interface has been chronically broken and frustrating lately but an upgrade is just around the corner.