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Still, Mr. Kennedy may be running afoul of another prominent Democrat: President Obama, who said in a post-election television interview that the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” than prosecuting Coloradans for marijuana possession.

That’s where Project SAM comes in, Mr. Kennedy said. The president “needs to hear from us. He knows that you can’t lead without people behind you.”

“If he doesn’t see strong support out there for his position, it’s hard for us to expect him to carry our water, so to speak,” Mr. Kennedy said.

In the meantime, Project SAM’s state affiliate is planning to weigh in on the Colorado task force charged with devising a regulatory and legal framework for implementation of Amendment 64. Dr. Chris Thurstone, a member of the state marijuana task force, is also participating in Project SAM.

Mr. Tvert said such involvement wasn’t appropriate. “They’re trying to inject themselves into regulatory decisions being made here in Colorado,” he said.

Mr. Kennedy disagreed.

“What I want is to slow this train down and kind of begin a discussion before other states rush to judgment, which is what I think happened here,” he said.