A law enforcement official says the impact of Colorado’s marijuana legalization is being felt in Missouri.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt hosted a drug free youth forum on October 21, 2016 in Jefferson City

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt hosted a drug free youth forum on October 21, 2016 in Jefferson City

A law enforcement official from eastern Missouri’s Franklin County told Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) on Friday in Jefferson City that 80 percent of the marijuana coming into his county is from Colorado, where marijuana is legal for those 21 and older. Drug treatment and recovery professionals and law enforcement warn Blunt about the effects marijuana is having on Missouri communities.

At the drug free youth forum hosted by Blunt in Jefferson City, he says he opposes legalizing marijuana.

“I’m not for access to marijuana, except for whatever medical properties we can figure out how to effectively capture out of marijuana,” Blunt says.

Osage County Prosecutor Amanda Grellner, another roundtable participant, told Blunt that Colorado’s legalization has also impacted hospitals there.

Roundtable participants also warned Blunt about the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.

A woman from southwest Missouri’s Jasper County, who’s making her ninth attempt at sobriety, told Blunt that her addictions began with pain medication. She says her addictions led to her child having health problems. She told the audience that she has been “clean” for eight months now.

Blunt told reporters that her story is powerful.

“One of the great values of hearing stories like that is it gives you just more ammunition to fight back other arguments as to why ‘well this is something that we shouldn’t be concerned about.’ It’s obviously something we should be very concerned about,” Blunt says.

Blunt spent most of the forum listening to the roundtable, and asked several questions. He says he learned a lot about the opioid epidemic from listening to the participants.