A local group of “concerned citizens” have merged their anti-marijuana coalition up with one of the nation’s fastest-growing anti-legalization groups.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana now has a presence in Vermont under the name SAM-VT.
SAM-VT’s first order of business is to halt any talks of marijuana legalization.
They are calling on Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont General Assembly to delay consideration of pot legalization this legislative session, and “focus instead on budget, education and other health care priorities” according to a press release published in the Bennington Banner.
Deborah Haskins, executive director of SAM-VT, says that science is finally about to prove how harmful marijuana is, by the way:
“The evidence is mounting that marijuana is addictive and harmful to the users and especially harmful to adolescents,” said Haskins.
Haskins said emerging science shows that marijuana use is linked not only with addiction, but also with increased highway safety crashes, IQ loss, and poor academic and job performance. She said that daily users have a 60 percent lower chance of graduating from high school.
The group is bipartisan effort. The group is headed up by a variety of anti-drug figureheads.
Former Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy co-founded SAM with Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former senior policy advisor to Obama drug czar Gil Kerlikowske. Former Bush speechwriter and columnist David Frum is also on Project SAM’s board of directors, according to conservative publication The Daily Caller.
As far as the SAM Vermont, the group claims to have strong membership:
SAM-VT (formerly SMART Vermont) is a statewide coalition of parents, grandparents, young adults, senior citizens and other concerned Vermonters. The members represent diverse backgrounds including drug and alcohol prevention, youth services, education, law enforcement, mental health and business leaders who agree that marijuana legalization poses a threat to Vermont’s health, economy, youth, education, highway safety and work force.