SEATTLE (AP) — A national group that opposes efforts to legalize marijuana is launching a new Washington chapter, but it’s not pushing for the repeal of the state’s new recreational pot law.

Instead, organizers say they want to keep tabs on the effect the law has on teens in the state and to help officials create what they hope will be a responsible medical marijuana program here, as opposed to the unregulated medical marijuana system that currently exists.

Project SAM — or Smart Approaches to Marijuana — was launched early this year by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy with the goal of enhancing discussion about the public health effects of marijuana and finding alternatives to legalization of marijuana or incarceration for pot crimes.

The group’s Washington chapter includes Derek Franklin, the president of Washington Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, and Dr. Leslie Walker, the chief of the adolescent medicine division at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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