Mr. R
Somewhere, Massachusetts

Dear Mr.   :

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the legalization of marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

I support federal laws criminalizing marijuana production and commercial use. Studies have shown that the harmful consequences of marijuana include such ailments as premature cancer, addiction, coordination and perception impairment, as well as a number of mental disorders. The number of marijuana-related emergency room episodes recorded by the Drug Abuse Warning Network increased 175 percent from 1994 to 2001.

In addition, I am concerned about the use of marijuana among today(s) youth. Research shows that adolescents may not recognize the dangers of marijuana because they believe it to be less dangerous than other illegal drugs. Our children need to understand that marijuana is an unstable mixture of hundreds of chemicals with dangerous health risks. For these reasons, I support the enforcement of drug laws and programs that discourage drug use and aid with recovery.

I appreciate hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me again on this or any other issue.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry
United States Senator