The measures have little chance of passing, said Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy adviser. Sabet recently joined former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former President George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum in forming a group called Project SAM — for "smart approaches to marijuana" — to counter the growing legalization movement. Sabet noted that previous federal legalization measures have always failed.
"These are really extreme solutions to the marijuana problem we have in this country," Sabet said. "The marijuana problem we have is a problem of addiction among kids, and stigma of people who have a criminal record for marijuana crimes.
"There are a lot more people in Congress who think that marijuana should be illegal but treated as a public health problem, than think it should be legal."
Project SAM suggests people shouldn't get criminal records for small-time marijuana offenses, but instead could face probation or treatment.
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