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Third killer should not be legalized

To the editor:

Thank you to the Echo Press for the prescriptive and compassionate editorial published March 5 titled: “The very real consequences of drug use.”

As your former sheriff, I am sorry for the tragedy of two lives lost to drug addiction and the sorrow their families are experiencing. I am, however, thankful for the life spared of the Douglas County officer. This story of drug abuse, addiction and violence is all too familiar in our state and country.

As the editorial states, prescription and illegal drug use is on the rise. As your legislator, this is very alarming. I stand strong on preventing any addictive drug to cause the destruction we saw recently. I strongly oppose recent legislation to legalize raw marijuana.

I am aware of the components in marijuana that have medical benefits. These benefits include relief to seizures, neurological diseases and other medical disorders. The FDA is working toward taking the beneficial cannabidiol (CBD) out of raw marijuana and making it available for prescriptions. However, this process is still not approved.

I along with many other legislators, Governor Dayton, Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition and physicians who comprise the MMA stand in opposition to legalizing raw marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco contribute more death and destruction than all illegal drugs combined. We should not legalize a third killer.