Thank you for contacting to express your support for efforts to legalize marijuana. I appreciate your thoughts on this issue.
While I understand your arguments, I do not believe that legalizing marijuana would improve the illegal drug situation already facing our state and nation. Terrorists and other criminals have a long history of trafficking marijuana, and we should not contribute to that industry in any way. Marijuana is also more powerful now than in the past, and unfortunately more people are becoming addicted. Despite the perceived image of marijuana as a "safe" substance, it significantly impairs a user's faculties and inhibitions. Many users also experience marijuana "burn out" characterized by depression, acute frustration, and isolation - often leading them to seek more dangerous illegal drugs.
I understand that some people support decriminalization of marijuana for medical use. Opening the door to legalization in this fashion is not appropriate when so many alternative treatments are available. Like any complex compound, marijuana is composed of hundreds of chemicals, and some of them may have medicinal affects. But the same could be said of many substances. The opium poppy provides real medical derivatives, such as morphine, but that doesn't mean that people should start using and abusing heroin. Similarly, a medicinal derivative of the marijuana plant, Marinol, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In this light, legalizing marijuana for medical use would increase the prevalence of a dangerous substance while providing limited benefits. After considering these facts, I cannot support legislation that would legalize marijuana for any purpose.
Once again, thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts. While we may not agree on this issue, I hope you will feel free to stay in touch on other matters.
Member of Congress