Pubdate: Sun, 18 Oct 2015
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Dayton Daily News
Author: Ian James
Note: Ian James is the executive director of ResponsibleOhio, the 
primary organization pressing for passage of Issue 3.


Issue 3 to Benefit Sick, Shut Down Ohio Drug Dealers.

Now is the time to legalize marijuana in Ohio. According to a 
Quinnipiac poll conducted earlier this month, the majority of Ohioans 
support legalization. Ninety percent of Ohioans support the 
legalization of medical marijuana and 53 percent of Ohioans support 
legalizing marijuana for adult, personal use.

Despite such positive public opinion, our state lawmakers have 
continuously failed to act on marijuana reform for the past 18 years. 
Since 1997, there has been legislation at the Statehouse to address 
medical marijuana for the chronically ill. And even as people 
continue to suffer and 9 out of 10 of us agree on providing 
compassionate care to sick Ohioans, lawmakers refuse to act.

Ohio voters have the chance to make history by voting Yes on Issue 3 
this November to create a highly regulated, taxed and safe marijuana 
industry. Ohioans should vote Yes on Issue 3 to legalize marijuana 
for medical use and personal use for adults 21 and over, and there 
are many reasons why.

A vote yes on Issue 3 means providing affordable treatments for sick 
Ohioans at a price everyone can afford. Those suffering with cancer, 
Alzheimer's, veterans with PTSD, children with epilepsy and so many 
other Ohioans with chronic illnesses will have the opportunity to 
find relief. This means that the Ohio families who had to flee our 
state in search of legal medicine will be able to finally come home.

A vote Yes on Issue 3 will also help smother the black market and 
shut down drug dealers. Dangerous dealers who provide the real 
gateway to harder drug use. The dealers are those who have the access 
to hard drugs and they already sell to kids without IDing them. They 
are selling to kids because they're about cash, not conscience. When 
Ohioans legalize marijuana by voting Yes on Issue 3, we'll take the 
power away from dealers to ensure that marijuana stays out of kids' hands.

Let's face it, Ohioans know marijuana prohibition and theWar on Drugs 
have failed. Marijuana is here in our state, and the laws of 
yesteryear and reefer madness have done little to prevent that. When 
we bring marijuana out of the shadows, we'll smother the black 
market. And we'll free up resources for our law enforcement to go 
after real criminals and fight our state's heroin epidemic. That's to 
the tune of $100 million every year that we'll be able to reinvest.

The new regulated industry brings new annual tax revenue directly 
back to our local communities. A yes vote on Issue 3 means taxing 
marijuana and using the $554 million per year in tax revenue for 
safety services and much-needed infrastructure projects like road and 
bridge repairs. We estimate that Montgomery County alone, will bring 
back more than $21 million every year.

When Ohioans vote Yes on Issue 3, they will vote for 30,000 new jobs. 
Between the 10 initial growing sites, six testing facilities, 
innovation center, manufacturing companies and more than a thousand 
individual retail stores, the new green industry will create 
good-paying jobs Ohioans need.

And as usual, our state politicians are trying to trick voters by 
inserting flawed titles and faulty ballot language. What they don't 
want you to know is that instead of their monopoly, Ohio will get 
safe and proper regulation of a market with 10 initial growing sites.

Many problems have arisen in places like Colorado, where growing is 
unlimited and terribly regulated. There have beenmultiple instances 
of unsafe pesticides, insecticides and other contaminants in their 
marijuana that has led to a consumer lawsuit. ThisWildWest ofWeed is 
a dangerous system and shouldn't be duplicated in Ohio.

If the existing market doesn't suit a consumer, Ohioans will also 
have the ability to grow at home. So long as an Ohioan is 21 and 
older, keeps marijuana out of public view and reach of children and 
obtains a license, he or she can grow at home.

To legalize marijuana, voters must also remember to vote No on Issue 
2. Issue 2 is a broad overreach by state lawmakers. This dangerous 
politician-sponsored amendment will give lawmakers more control and 
voters less control over issues while creating expensive and 
unnecessary barriers to the ballot. It was crafted and put on the 
ballot this year to thwart the will of the people. A vote no on Issue 
2 shows our lawmakers that we are tired of their games and attempts 
to silence the people.

The advantages of marijuana reform in Ohio are many and the majority 
of Ohioans agree that we need reform. For Marijuana Legalization: 
Vote No on Issue 2 and Yes on Issue 3.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom