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By The Editors
October 12, 2023
On The Record

The Senate passed a resolution this week detailing our opposition to Issue 2, the proposed initiated statute on the November ballot that would legalize the use and retail sale of recreational marijuana.

Senate Resolution 216 was co-sponsored by Senators Terry Johnson and Mark Romanchuk.

Issue 2 was written by the commercial marijuana industry to put their profits over people. Ohio already leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death by injury in Ohio, and 33,000 Ohioans have died of drug overdoses since 2011. 

Issue 2 will allow the marijuana industry to capitalize on addiction and turn it into profit.

"This statute was written by the marijuana industry to line their pockets, not help Ohioans," Romanchuk said. "This proposal adds fuel to the fire of our current addiction crisis, and we know from other states that have legalized marijuana use that traffic deaths, crime, and workplace accidents rise. Issue 2 is a bad deal for Ohio." 

"They must've been smoking dope when they wrote it," said Senator Johnson who is a doctor and former county coroner. "If I told you 25% of your family budget would be spent on drug addiction programs, you'd say 'What happened to my family? Yet the campaign for the cartels thinks that's exactly what 25% of the revenue should go to - Addiction programs."

States that have legalized recreational marijuana have experienced enormous problems documented in several studies.

Senate Resolution 216 describes these repercussions, including:

  • Increases in deaths and injuries in traffic accidents; 
  • Increases in crimes rates, including violent crimes; 
  • Increases in workplace accidents; 
  • Declines in brain function in adulthood for adolescent users. 

Senate Resolution 216 also details the financial benefits the marijuana industry would obtain if Issue 2 passes. Issue 2:

  • Gives more than a third of tax revenue generated to the industry itself through its “social equity” fund program;
  • Does not include any funds for Ohio counties to administer addiction treatment programs and other challenges from increased drug use in Ohio;
  • Does not allow Ohioans to direct tax revenue towards priorities such as public education and road improvements.

    Read the full text of Senate Resolution 216 here.