Dear Mrs. 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.
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 U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2013, approximately 440,000 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 why I recently invited Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, also known as the “Drug Czar,” to attend a forum in Northern Kentucky to hear firsthand accounts of the devastating impact of prescription drug and heroin abuse in the Commonwealth. Along with bringing him to the Commonwealth, I continue working to provide law enforcement with the tools and resources they need to combat drug abuse; this effort has included advocating on behalf of several Kentucky counties to ensure their successful inclusion into the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which qualifies them for additional federal assistance to combat drug trafficking threats.
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 114th Congress progresses.
Again, thank you for contacting me about this important matter. If you would like to receive periodic updates from my office, please sign up for my eNewsletter at http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov, become a fan of my page on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell or follow my office on Twitter @McConnellPress. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to keep me informed of issues important to you.
UNITED STATES SENATOR