The group Smart Approaches to Marijuana on Monday released an open letter by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy warning lawmakers in seven states to not support legalization bills.

“The commercialization of marijuana is a policy that results in devastating consequences for families, public health, and public safety,” Kennedy said in a statement. “If lawmakers can see beyond the fabric of lies being woven by the marijuana industry’s well-heeled lobbyists, they will see marijuana legalization efforts for what they are: addiction-for-profit companies looking for the next big payday. We must put public health and safety – and our kids – ahead of the interests of Big Marijuana.”

New York lawmakers were among the recipients of the letter from Kennedy, as well as legislators in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut and Illinois.

A provision that would have legalized marijuana’s distribution and sale was not included in the state budget agreement last month as lawmakers disagreed over how the revenue should be used as well as over traffic safety concerns.

In letter, Kennedy pointed to recent research finding links between marijuana use and mental illness.

“The industry also frequently targets disadvantaged communities as its profit centers,” the letter states.

“In Los Angeles, the majority of pot shops have opened in primarily African-American communities and in Colorado, where pot shops outnumber McDonalds and Starbucks locations combined, they are disproportionately located in similar areas. And arrest disparities continue while less than one percent of the industry is minority-owned. This is supposed to be social justice?”

Lawmakers who back marijuana legalization in New York plan to make another push for the bill in the post-budget portion of the legislative session.