Pubdate: Sun, 01 Nov 2015
Source: Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Chillicothe Gazette


If State Issue 3 were just about allowing the medical use of marijuana
in Ohio, we could entertain a discussion about its benefits - but it
would allow recreational use of the addictive version of the drug, as

If State Issue 3 didn't create a monopoly for a small number of
growers that would benefit tremendously financially, we could have a
serious discussion about whether marijuana should be illegal at all -
but it does.

And if State Issue 3 wasn't using the Ohio constitution to establish a
law best left to the state legislature, we could have a fair
conversation about the best way to legalize the drug, or have an
honest discussion about whether the drug is really dangerous, or
really serves as a gateway to harder drugs. But it does use the
constitution, which should never be used for such minutiae as which
substances are legal, anyway. (Nor should it be used to decide the
issue of casino gambling, but that fight, sadly, has already been lost.)

Instead, State Issue 3 opens up the use of marijuana to everyone, not
just for medicinal purposes, despite the feel-good ads that make it
seem like strictly a medical conversation. It entrenches that legality
in the Ohio constitution. And it guarantees that 10 property owners,
and only 10, get to grow and distribute it around the state,
disallowing anyone else from profiting from this surely-lucrative industry.

And Issue 3 does establish a monopoly, despite ResponsibleOhio's
claims to the contrary. Want further proof? Just watch any of
ResponsibleOhio's own ads, which claim Issue 3 does not establish a
monopoly - and which also encourage voters to vote against Issue 2,
which bans the use of the Ohio constitution to establish monopolies.
If Issue 3 doesn't establish a monopoly, why would ResponsibleOhio
care about Issue 2 at all? The short answer is, it wouldn't.

Finally, we oppose legalizing a drug that has been shown to have
addictive properties. It may not have the sheer debilitating power of
cocaine or heroin, but it can be addictive all the same. It can also
seriously impair people even when they're not addicted. We just don't
see the benefits of making the drug - and yes, it is a drug - legal on
every street corner. Did we mention growers know how to increase (or
decrease) the potency? Nothing about that is in this ballot issue.

We agree that Ohio should examine whether there are medical benefits
to marijuana, particularly that grown without the addictive elements.
But that is a different conversation entirely than the one before
voters on Tuesday's ballot.

Issue 3 is a bad idea all the way around. We've said it before, but a
"no" vote is the way to go.
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MAP posted-by: Matt