Dear Ms. Krider;
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on marijuana. Your views help me represent Kentucky and the nation in the United States Senate, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
In your correspondence, you expressed your thoughts on rescheduling marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I controlled substance. Kentuckians continue to combat the negative consequences associated with the cultivation and distribution of marijuana in communities across the state. According to the Office of Drug Control Policy, in 2016, approximately 561,000 plants were eradicated in the Commonwealth, over $745,000 worth of assets were seized, and more than 85 weapons were taken off the streets as a result of the marijuana eradication operations. Kentucky carries the dubious distinction of ranking as one of the top marijuana producing states in the nation. Traffickers have been known to trespass on both private and public lands, often resulting in damage to private property and many of the Commonwealth’s most cherished natural habitats.
That is one reason why I encouraged Gil Kerlikowske, then-Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to tour Kentucky. Known as the country’s “drug czar,” Director Kerlikowske focused his attention on better understanding the scope of Kentucky’s drug problem in order to make an informed decision on how best to continue the federal government’s commitment to combating drugs in the Commonwealth within current resource limitations.
There is no doubt that drug abuse persists as a serious problem in all 120 counties of the Commonwealth, and the effects of such abuse have proved devastating for our local communities. Because of the harm that substances like marijuana and other illegal drugs pose to our society, I oppose their legalization. That said, I will keep your thoughts in mind as the 115th Congress progresses.
Thank you for contacting me about this important matter. If you would like to receive periodic updates about issues such as this, please sign up for my eNewsletter at http://mcconnell.senate.gov/ and become a fan of my page on Facebook, by visiting http://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell or follow my office on Twitter @McConnellPress.
UNITED STATES SENATOR