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Speaking out against legalizing marijuana



Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine was joined by Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman and Shaker Heights Police Chief Scott Lee (above photo left to right) at a press conference today to urge a NO vote on Issue 3, the marijuana legalization ballot issue.

DeWine discussed a three-day fact-finding trip he took to Colorado to learn about the impact of marijuana legalization on the state. Among his concerns:
  • The prevalence of marijuana-laced food such candy and baked goods that look very similar to their mass-market counterparts (photo right).

    He said that the number of emergency room visits by children who have mistakenly eaten foods containing marijuana “has increased substantially.”
  • Growth in the marijuana black market: DeWine said that with marijuana legalization “the perceived risk will go down, while availability will go up.”

    He urged voters to be aware that marijuana on the market today is not the same as the pot of the 1960s. “It is much more potent.”
DeWine said that he supports well-regulated, legalized medical marijuana, “but that is not what this (Issue 3) is about.”

Business community perspective

Roman focused on the position taken by GCP members and other employers on marijuana legalization. He said that following a lengthy review, the organization concluded the ResponsibleOhio proposal to permit marijuana use for both recreational and medical purposes could negatively impact workplaces, make Ohio an unattractive place for businesses considering expansion here, and burden small businesses.

GCP members are concerned about issues including: difficulty in recruiting drug-free employees; implications for workplace safety; impact on workforce productivity, quality and costs and the resulting effect on employer liability.

Law enforcement voices concerns

Lee provided a law-enforcement community’s perspective, noting that the over-21 age restrictions wouldn’t deter teens from trying to take advantage of marijuana’s widespread availability resulting from legalization. Drug use and its fallout could have a negative impact on their ability to set and achieve life and career goals.

“We want them to succeed and have a bright future,” he said. “This is not what we want for them.

Click here to read coverage of the press conference by cleveland.com.