Just hours after Ohioans soundly stood up against marijuana by rejecting state Issue 3 in November, some public officials began discussing various ways of addressing the issue of medical marijuana in the future. I have made clear my opposition to recreational use of marijuana, and I do not think any form of smokeable marijuana should be permitted. But I do think it is important that legislators have an in-depth discussion about the drug’s effects before making any long-term decisions.
Over the past four years, the Ohio Legislature has been fighting drug addiction and the damage drug exposure has done in our local communities. That is why it was so important that Ohioans stand up against recreational marijuana legalization. We cannot afford the societal toll for unlimited and unrestrained access to marijuana. That’s why I am making a New Year’s resolution to stop the movement for easy access to drugs and highly intoxicating substances.
This New Year I will be working to stop access to smokeable medical marijuana. It is difficult to determine the outcomes of smoking medical marijuana due to strict federal laws that make it hard to obtain legal marijuana for studies. Many states with legalized smokeable medical marijuana do not have high instances of prescriptions from doctors. For instance, in Colorado a survey of doctors shows that only 31% of doctors have ever recommended marijuana for patients.
When examining instances of crime in states with legalized smokeable medical marijuana compared to the national average, the FBI reports that there are more instances of burglary, larceny-theft, forcible rape and violent crimes. Smokeable medical marijuana brings with it problems that are very similar to the societal problems associated with recreational marijuana.
We still have to consider the positive health impacts of the cannabis plant when separated from THC, which is the component of the plant that causes the “high.” New technology will allow safe products to eventually come to the market through your neighborhood pharmacy. Pursuing these pharmaceutical products may be beneficial to public health and we should improve Ohio laws, as needed, for this purpose. Considering the drug problems our communities face, we should be learning more about these alternatives and focusing on solutions that do not allow more drugs in the streets.
As I’ve stated before, I believe that legalizing marijuana that is still green and smokeable for medical consumption is a bad idea. Smokeable marijuana may fuel the black market and inflame Ohio’s very real drug problems.
I have made it a resolution this new year to stop the movement for easy access to drugs and highly intoxicating substances. You can learn more about my New Year’s resolution and join the effort by visiting tinyurl.com/buchystandingstrong
Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at tinyurl.com/buchyjanuary2016
The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.