A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Letter to the Editor: Drug free coalitions object to legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes

In order to protect the youth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the drug free and prevention coalitions of Northern Kentucky wish to educate our communities and legislators with regard to marijuana.

It is our opinion, based upon the facts presented below, that marijuana use should not be legalized in any capacity.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has NOT recognized or approved the use of marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication (FDA.gov). Marijuana is still a Scheduled I drug, and as such is not able to be effectively researched for medicinal purposes.

Ultimately, the legalization of marijuana will lower the perception of risk. A lower perception of harm or risk historically leads to an increased usage among youth. Across the state of Kentucky, the perception of harm for marijuana continues to decrease with time (as seen below) according to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey.

Finally, it should be noted that every state that has now legalized marijuana for “recreational” use started by legalizing marijuana for “medical” use. This is a particularly slippery slope in a region and state already so overwhelmed by substance use and abuse. We encourage our citizens and policy-makers to be mindful of our youth when making decisions that will be so impactful on our next generation.

Ben Brown, Chair, Boone County Alliance; Sarah White, Coordinator, Campbell County Drug-Free Alliance; Brian Brentlinger, Chair, Champions for a Drug-Free Gallatin County; Camille Croweak, Coordinator, Champions for a Drug-Free Grant County; Diana O’Toole, Coordinator, Kenton County Alliance; Sarah Paige Tuttle, Coordinator, Owen County Drug Prevention Task Force; Mary Pettit, Coordinator; Champions for a Drug-Free Pendleton County

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  1. Justin says:

    This makes me extremely disappointed to read. Its a plant people. Go Green!

  2. Ernest says:

    The people that sent this letter ether don’t know what they are talking about or just outright lying. Keeping marijuana illegal is making it easier for children to get it. Illegal drug dealers do not check IDs like they would if it was sold in stores like alcohol they sell it to anyone with out checking IDs for their age and putting children in harms way. Here in Lexington it was just last week we had 2 15 years old kids shot and one killed over a drug gone bad. That is what you get from keeping marijuana illegal. I have been smoking marijuana from the time I was 8 years old and I could get it easier I could alcohol and as easy as you can get a drink of water. I am 45 years old now and still smoke marijuana and never been into trouble for it. When I go to my dealer to get my supply of marijuana for a month there maybe 3 or 4 children there getting some too from the ages 12 on up. I can not say anything because I don’t want to have to go out and look for a new dealer.

  3. Chris says:

    Who’s paying them to say all this?

  4. Randy Moreland says:

    I’m a 63 year old veteran. I am EXTREMELY concerned about this letter. It shows an ignorance of the facts that in today’s information availability is inexcusable for “leaders” of any type. Sure the FDA hasn’t approved it and it is a Schedule 1 drug to the Feds, but the facts end there.
    The alcoholic beverage industry needs to back off the pressure. If they had any sense, they would support it and start getting in on the ground floor.
    Anybody that is in a “Leadership” position needs to make sure that people have access to this ‘plant’ that holds numerous health benefits. Any hold up is just blatant protection of corporate interests while people die.
    The endocannabinoid system in the Human body synthesizes cannabinoids. Look at Wikipedia. The Feds are stalling for the big corporate interests; pharmaceuticals.
    Don’t forget that where it has been legalized, use of Opioids and Alcohol trends down. You can imagine who is putting pressure on officials here in Kentucky.

  5. Sponar says:

    thank you so much❤

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