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Patrick Kennedy Disagrees To President Obama’s Belief Regarding Pot

Update Date: Jan 21, 2014 09:54 AM EST

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy has disagreed with President Obama saying the drug today is not like what the president smoked in his youth. 

In an interview, former eight-term Rhode Island Democrat said the notion that pot is not worse than alcohol was based on anecdotal evidence and not science. 

"I think the president needs to speak to his NIH director in charge of drug abuse," Kennedy said in an interview, according to Politico. "[She] would tell the president that, in fact, today's modern, genetically modified marijuana, so it's much higher THC levels, far surpass the marijuana that the president acknowledges smoking when he was a young person."

Kennedy pointed that even government research has proven marijuana to be harmful. 

"He is wrong when he says that it isn't very harmful, because the new marijuana is not the old marijuana," Kennedy said. "We need to have presidential decisions made based upon public health and the sound science that the federal government's invested in."

Kennedy also added if the president believed alcohol was more dangerous, he should be concerned about legalizing and commercializing marijuana, as America didn't want another Big Tobacco or Big Alcohol.

"I mean, if the president feels alcohol is worse than tobacco, what's he prepared to do? And I'll tell you, the president won't be able to do a thing," Kennedy added in the interview. "Why? Because alcohol is too powerful an industry to change. And right now, we have a chance to stop another for-profit industry from targeting our public health."

President Obama waded into the controversial politics of marijuana saying pot is "more dangerous than alcohol". He also argued that it was important to allow recent legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington State to proceed. 

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," the president told the New Yorker. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

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