GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — As recreational marijuana legalization and decriminalization in New Jersey becomes more of a possibility, advocates in drug prevention and treatment fields are bringing up potential consequences of that industry.
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, of Brigantine, and Kevin Sabet, founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, will hold a panel discussion from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at Stockton University’s Campus Center Theater on the middle road between incarceration and legalization.
Kennedy is the author of “A Common Struggle,” in which he details his own fight with mental illness and addiction while growing up as the youngest son of Ted Kennedy and while he served as a Democratic representative in Congress for Rhode Island.
Serving on President Donald Trump’s opioid epidemic commission, Kennedy has advocated for equal health care access and treatment for mental health and substance-use disorders, with a focus on today’s heroin and opioid epidemic.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana is a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Virginia, that opposes legalization and commercialization of marijuana and champions policies and efforts to decrease marijuana use overall.
Kennedy and Sabet will talk about situations in legal states, mental health effects of marijuana use, marijuana potency and price trends in legal and illegal markets, related emergency room and hospital admissions, the cost of implementing legalization from law enforcement to regulators, the cost to employers, youth use, drugged driving and more.
The event is free and open to the public. It will include a Q&A. See stockton.edu.