To the Editor of the Morrow County Sentinel,
On November 3, 2015 the voters of the State of Ohio will decide Issue 3. The passage of this issue will legalize the use of marijuana. However, only a small number of people will be permitted to produce marijuana. In essence, the State of Ohio will grant to this select group of individuals a monopoly on the cultivation and sale of marijuana. The few licensed producers will make all of the money and take these funds out of Ohio and back to wherever they came from.
Ohio voters need to be aware that the marijuana that will be produced under the authority of this new law is not the same marijuana that existed in the 1970’s. That marijuana had a THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) content of about 3 percent. New hybrids of marijuana can have a THC content as high as 49 percent. The oils extracted from the “new” marijuana can have a THC level as high as 90 percent. These high levels of THC can have devastating effects on an individual. Should Issue 3 pass, this highly potent marijuana will be placed in food items such as candy which presents a great health risk to children.
The effects of marijuana stay in the body for over 24 hours. The impact on the motoring public will be devastating. We will see a dramatic increase in marijuana-related vehicle crashes. Further, Colorado has noticed a significant increase in crime since legalizing marijuana. An increase in crime is also anticipated here in Ohio if this issue is passed. These are just some of the problems that are not being addressed by the supporters of Issue 3. Remember that the supporters of Issue 3 have paid millions of dollars to put these issues on the ballot.
The advertising blitz now on every television channel is designed to pull on the heart strings of the public. This well-orchestrated media campaign depicts individuals that have severe medical issues and that those medical problems have been eased through the use of medical marijuana. Marijuana has been the subject of years of medical research. Still, the American Medical Association and other medical organizations have not supported Issue 3. This issue is not focused on medical use. Passage of the issue will permit recreational use of marijuana. Thus, the media campaign now being waged by the supporters of legalization is a terrible distortion of the truth.
Now is the time for all of us to stand up for our families, our friends and our communities. Vote “NO” on Issue 3. By voting “No” you will be joining with the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, the Ohio Coroner’s Association, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ohio Prosecutor’s Association, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, the Drug Free Action Alliance and many more organizations and agencies throughout our great state.
Join with us now and embrace the truth, drug use is destructive of both the individual and our society. We ask that you vote NO on Issue 3.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Steve Brenneman, Morrow County Sheriff
Brian Zerman, Chief of Police, Mt. Gilead
John Hinton, Chief of Police, Cardignton
Charles S. Howland, Morrow County Prosecutor