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Medical marijuana should not be legalized

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I am concerned about alleviating pain as much as anyone. I recently experienced the loss of my only sister from ovarian cancer. My mother and dad had brain cancer and colon cancer respectively. But decriminalizing marijuana even for "medical" reasons is not the answer.

In 2009 a bill for medical marijuana was passed in the Minnesota Legislature but then vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. This year it has been reintroduced on Feb. 16 by Rep. Kahn (HF 2997). There are at least three reasons why it should not be decriminalized.

1. The National Institute of Health has stated "Marijuana smoke contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day."

2. States, such as California and New York, that have legalized marijuana, even for medical purposes, have experienced major problems (including an increase in crime, child abuse and traffic fatalities) controlling this mind-altering drug use.

3. The term "medical" has not been fully defined and will be misused.

Caring for people is very important and what makes us human. Decriminalizing marijuana will only add to the pain and problems of our cities and state.

-- Corrine R. Frank, Detroit Lakes

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