(WTOL) - As a crime prevention officer and a certified crime prevention specialist, I would like to bring some perspective to the grave and dangerous effects should State Issue 3 pass, changing the Ohio Constitution to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.
Proponents of Issue 3 purport that it would make our communities safer. This is simply not true, and we only need to look at the affect legalized marijuana has had in Colorado. They have experienced a 30 percent increase in drugged driving offenses since the legalization took effect there.
Legalizing pot makes it appear more acceptable to our youth. Issue 3 would also allow individuals to grow certain amounts of marijuana in their homes, but NOTHING in Issue 3 makes it illegal to grow or smoke marijuana in the presence of even the youngest children. Further, Issue 3 makes it legal to add marijuana to baked goods and candies, such as gummy-bears. Who do you think this will target?
Even if Issue 3 passes, kids are going to continue to smoke marijuana. Issue 3 will not stop it. Kids are still going to buy dope from pushers on the streets!
There are those who want you to believe that passage of Issue 3 will provide more tax revenue. Do politicians who are supporting Issue 3 for increased tax revenues really want it on their conscious how they got that money, by contributing to the drug problem? What would we legalize next, just to get more tax money? Heroin or prostitution?
Marijuana is indeed a gateway drug, one that leads to use and abuse of more harmful drugs such as heroin. You would have to have your head buried in sand not to know how bad the heroin problem has become, even in small towns. And legalizing marijuana is NOT the way to add jobs.
There are those who smoked marijuana in the 1960's and 70's who think it did not hurt them so it is okay. Most people don't realize that THC, the main drug ingredient of marijuana, is much stronger and much more harmful today than it was back then.
Issue 3 would create 10 major growing areas throughout the state, including northwest Ohio. How would these large farm fields be secured to keep out trespassers, including our youngsters?
Issue 3 is a constitutional amendment. It would take the passage of another constitutional amendment to repeal or change it in any way.
I urge you to cast your votes AGAINST Issue 3 and FOR Issue 2 for the good of our communities. But mostly for the good of our young people.