To the editor:
Voters of Ohio need to know the facts about Issue 3 and vote no. If this measure passes, it would grant more than a billion dollar monopoly for the commercial production and sale of all types of marijuana (essentially any purpose, not just medical use) to self-designated landowners in 10 predetermined parcels of land in 10 counties in Ohio. The bill prevents any business competition or regulation by the state Legislature.
Investors, who stand to capitalize on the addictions of others, are the ones who wrote the bill, and they also set their own preferential tax rate that cannot be changed by the state Legislature. No existing local or state law (including zoning laws) could be used to prevent or regulate the development or operation of retail marijuana stores; medical marijuana dispensaries; or marijuana facilities involved in growing, cultivation and extraction, unless the area is zoned residential.
Basically, if Issue 3 passes, Ohioans will give complete and total control of marijuana to a few wealthy investors and producers. The state Legislature, Ohio Board of Pharmacy and local cities and towns will have no ability to enact laws to regulate marijuana in Ohio. I believe the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy needs to retain complete control over this dangerous drug by voting no on 3.
Also, Issue 3 allows approximately 1,100 retail marijuana stores statewide! That is more than Starbucks or McDonald’s and nearly three times the number of state liquor stores. My opinion, as a pharmacist, is that Ohio should not have any stores selling marijuana; let alone 1,100 stores! More people having possession of marijuana will lead to more selling of marijuana to high school and middle school children. Even young children can be lured into marijuana use with marijuana-infused cookies and candy regardless of “child-proof” packaging. Issue 3 puts our children and grandchildren and future generations at risk.
A diverse coalition of groups urge all Ohioans to vote no on Issue 3. These groups include children’s health care advocates, hospitals, addiction counselors, faith leaders, mental health professionals, parents, educators, law enforcement officials, farmers, bankers and Democrat and Republican elected officials.
Please vote no on Issue 3. Stop the marijuana monopoly and keep marijuana away from our children.