(USNEWS) — Colorado will make history Wednesday as the first American state allowing stores to sell marijuana for recreational use – eliciting fear and predictions of doom from anti-drug campaigners.
On a Tuesday conference call hosted by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., said Colorado and Washington state – where stores will open later in 2014 – are "canaries in the coal mine."
"There are a lot of 'unintended consequences'... that will make them ponder whether this was the right decision," Kennedy said, predicting more traffic accidents, increased school truancy, higher drop-out rates and a general decrease in public health.
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Kevin Sabet, who co-founded SAM with Kennedy after advising the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations on drug policy, said "we see tomorrow as the dawn of big marijuana in Colorado. ... In Denver it seems like it's going to be going hogwild."