On November 3rd, voters will decide if we should legalize marijuana by amending Ohio’s Constitution. Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that exists in other states that have legalized marijuana that suggests we don’t know enough and can’t fully anticipate the ramifications that legalization would bring. 

Incredibly, the group pushing for this ballot measure is dubbed “ResponsibleOhio” and is made up of a handful of investors that stand to line their own pockets with cash should the issue pass because commercial marijuana would only be grown at 10 sites belonging to these individuals. 

This group’s goal?  Corner a market dominated by a small number of sellers and reap the financial rewards that come with it.  The result for the rest of us?  An oligopoly on weed in Ohio that would make us the first state in the Union to simultaneously legalize pot for medicinal and recreational use.

Whether you are open to a conversation about legalizing marijuana in Ohio or not, amending the Ohio Constitution before we have a better understanding of the implications and to provide economic gain for a targeted group of individuals is inappropriate and far from responsible. 

Vote NO on Issue “XYZ”.

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“ResponsibleOhio” promotes their marijuana legalization ballot measure, Issue “XYZ”, based on concepts like social justice, economic development and the supposed inevitability of legalization.  Whether there’s any truth to these talking points or not (and there’s very little evidence available to support these claims) is important, but beside my point.

Moving to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana at the same time (Ohio would be the first state in the country to do so), doing so through an amendment to our state Constitution (the amendment language would constitute a big part of the entire Constitution), and creating an oligopoly to do so (it would limit growing commercial marijuana to 10 sites owned by investors bankrolling the campaign), create a set of circumstances that make Issue 3 unworkable and ill conceived for Ohio.

Regardless of whether you believe marijuana legalization will eventually come to Ohio, we can do far better than this risky proposal.  It is imperative that we vote NO on Issue “XYZ” on Election Day.

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Legalizing pot in Ohio would amount to numerous challenges in the workplace, including an increase in litigation, and especially for small business owners.  Unlike big corporations, the majority of businesses do not have legions of attorneys and HR professionals on staff or retainer.

“ResponsibleOhio’s” November ballot issue ignores this fact by including language in their Constitutional amendment proposal that mandates employers treat medical marijuana like prescription drugs, which would require employers to accommodate medical marijuana in the workplace.  It’s true that employers have tended to prevail in challenges to their drug free workplace practices, but they still need to fund their defense to those challenges which can average $60,000 to $100,000 each.  Clearly, this is time and money that could better be spent creating jobs and investing in our communities. 

Join me in rejecting this flawed proposal and vote NO on Issue “XYZ” in November.

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CITY, STATE
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If you take the time to do the research, it’s interesting to learn that there is a lack of credible, sufficient data on the impacts of legalizing marijuana.  Most experts acknowledge that concrete outcomes are difficult to determine, a result of fairly recent implementation of recreational legalization laws in 4 other states and the District of Columbia.

If Issue “XYZ” passes on Election Day, Ohio will be the first state to simultaneously legalize medical and recreational use of marijuana.  This specific pro-legalization effort would lead to a more challenging evolution for Ohio and essentially turn our state in to the nation’s “test dummy” while the rest of the country gets to watch from the sidelines. 

This issue is too important to the future success of our state to make that gamble.  Vote NO on Issue “XYZ” and the marijuana monopoly.  And, vote YES on Issue “ABC” to further protect Ohio’s Constitution from all monopolistic enterprises in the future.

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CITY, STATE
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I’m a business owner who opposes “ResponsibleOhio’s” marijuana legalization mandate and will vote NO on Issue “XYZ” on November 3rd. 

Legalizing marijuana will make it more difficult for companies to find employees that can pass drug tests.  It’s no surprise that positive test results for illegal substances have increased dramatically in states where weed is legal.  If Issue “XYZ” is approved, employers will have to increase their expenses to tighten employee policies and ensure they are testing all employees more frequently to avoid their own liability in the workplace and with customers they serve.

There are interesting arguments for and against legalization, but there is one thing we know to be certain – marijuana use compromises coordination, vision, reaction times, and judgment.  Maintaining safe workplaces is crucial from where I sit and it should be a big concern for us all.

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CITY, STATE
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It’s interesting to see that even pro-marijuana advocates are concerned about the way “ResponsibleOhio” is going about trying to establish legal marijuana.  Their monopoly and their constitutional amendment worry them, too!  But, beyond the questions the Issue “XYZ” proposal raises and the unknown effects of legalization, there is also the issue of timing and the fact that the state is ill-prepared to manage the potential repercussions.

There is no precedent for legalizing medicinal and recreational use simultaneously.  And, there are questions about how this industry should be properly regulated and what the proper amount of funding for staff and research should be.

Challenges exist related to regulation, enforcement, and education and this is too important an issue to rush through quickly just because a handful of investors in the campaign stand to gain financially.

I’m voting NO on Issue “XYZ” in November.

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CITY, STATE
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Ohio should take the time to learn from other states on best practices when it comes to the question of legalizing marijuana in our state.  Jumping in the way Issue “XYZ” proscribes is a really bad idea.

Also, let’s not forget that the federal government continues to recognize marijuana as an illegal drug.  Conflicts between state and federal laws will continue to lead to crucial court decisions on the future of this market and the implications for citizens in legal states.

On November 3rd, I’m voting NO on Issue “XYZ” because Ohio should not grant a monopoly on the marijuana market to a few greedy people.  It’s equally important, however, that if/when Ohio does legalize marijuana that we know more about the proper framework needed to support successful implementation.

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CITY, STATE
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