As Ohioan’s make their way to their polling locations, they will be deciding whether or not to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Ohio is the first state to go straight to recreational use, as all other states before have first gone the medicinal route. Ohio is also the first state to have a handful of wealthy investors, calling themselves ‘Responsible Ohio’ (RO), to donate over $20 million to ensure that the state constitution provides monopolistic opportunities, specifically designed for them to get rich(er) at the peril of Ohio families, Ohio businesses, and Ohio children.
These are interesting times and while it would be expected that those opposing expanded marijuana use would not be supportive of the measure, what came as a surprise to many were the pro-legalization groups also in opposition. The grass-roots organization most supportive of marijuana legalization, the Ohio Rights Group, opposed RO’s monopolistic plan until they were offered a piece of the marijuana pie by being provided with growing space in one of the ten grow sites throughout the state.
As Ohio voters, we are left with two options. One is to vote to expand marijuana in a scope and scale beyond what any other state has done thus far, still with very little understanding of marijuana’s impact on users, their families, and their communities.
Based on what we have learned from other states that have expanded marijuana’s reach, we will likely result in higher rates of drugged driving, increased underage marijuana use, and even more impairment while on the job.
The other alternative is to smartly oppose marijuana expansion, insist that if marijuana is to be considered medicine, it should go through the proper FDA approval process, and refuse to permit profiteers to write themselves into the state constitution.
As you cast your vote today, ask yourself three questions:
- Will marijuana legalization, which includes marijuana-infused candies, make children safer
- Will marijuana legalization, which includes a monopoly, make communities stronger?
- Will marijuana legalization, which includes permanently amending the Ohio constitution to benefit marijuana profiteers, make Ohio better?
As Ohio moves, so moves the nation. The question that Ohioans will answer today is ‘what direction is Ohio moving?’