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Letter: Beware the many pitfalls of pot

I am a member of the state bar association and received the article “Strong Link Between Teen Cannabis Use and Psychosis Risk” in one of our weekly bar news updates. I am an assistant prosecutor for the cities of Carlton, Cloquet, and Scanlon, prosecuting misdemeanor offenses and select gross misdemeanor offenses such as thefts from Walmart and impaired driving.

While in law school I trained as a guardian ad litem, which is someone who is court-appointed to be the voice for children in certain court proceedings. Part of the training involved drug abuse awareness and one of the presenters talked about how they saw cannabis use as a “gateway” drug. I just got back from three days of training on using “drug recognition evaluators” in drugged driving cases. I see abuse of all sorts of chemicals in drugged driving and other crimes such as thefts to support drug habits.

So many people think of cannabis as no big deal, but they don’t realize the strains that were available in, say, the 1970s, are nowhere near the potency that we see now.

As bad as it is seeing the problems with drugged driving cases and theft cases professionally, I’m concerned about how usage affects kids. I’m a grandma of 12 (ages 2-15). Information needs to get out to kids and parents about cannabis use in teenagers and hopefully the information will be taken seriously.

Sarah B. Helwig, Rudy, Gassert, Yetka, Pritchett & Helwig law firm, Cloquet

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