Republican lawmakers in Ohio last week approved a resolution opposing the cannabis legalization question that will be put to voters in the state next month and urging citizens to vote ‘no’ on the proposal.
The resolution contends that “the commercial marijuana industry” paid to write the statute and then “paid to collect the signatures to get the proposed law.” It also ties the state 33,000 overdose deaths between 2011 and 2020 to cannabis by linking them to the debunked “gateway” drug theory and claiming regular cannabis use “more than doubles the risk of developing opioid-use disorder or initiating nonmedical prescription opioid use,” despite evidence that several studies have found cannabis plays a role as an exit drug for some people who quit opioid use.
“We, the members of the Senate of the State of Ohio, conclude that the proposed statute authored by the commercial marijuana industry does not serve the best interests of the people of Ohio, will bring unacceptable threats and risks to the health of all Ohioans, especially children, will create dangers in the workplace and unacceptable challenges and costs to employers, will make Ohio’s roads more dangerous, will impose significant new, unfunded costs to Ohio’s public social services, and serves only to advance the financial interests of the commercial marijuana industry and its investors.” — SR 216 text
The resolution says by voting ‘no’ on the reforms, voters would be preserving and protecting the “state’s high quality of life,” health and safety of its citizens, strength and prosperity of its communities, strong economic growth, favorable environment for business success, and “opportunity for all citizens and the future for our young people.”
The reforms are also opposed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners; however, a September poll by Fallon Research found 59% of Ohioans back the proposal with 32% opposed and 9% unsure.
None of the Senate’s Democratic lawmakers signed onto the resolution.
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