Vote “NO” on Issue 3
The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative!
First let's start with the "Official" United Methodist Position on Marijuana Use:
“Like alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is frequently a precursor to the use of other drugs. Studies reveal that marijuana impairs short-term memory, altering sense of time and reducing the ability to perform tasks requiring concentration, swift reactions, and coordination.
Some states have passed legislation permitting the medical use of marijuana. Some studies indicate circumstances in which marijuana can have an important palliative medicinal effect unavailable through other means. The medical use of any drug, however, should not be seen as encouraging recreational use of it. We urge all persons to abstain from all use of marijuana, unless it has been legally prescribed in a form appropriate for treating a particular medical condition.”
2004 United Methodist Book of Resolutions
Next we have the "Official" position of our regional body (East Ohio Conference):
Delegates at the 2015 East Ohio Annual Conference adopted the following resolution: A Call to The United Methodist Church to Oppose Legalized Marijuana in Ohio. This resolution asks that every member of The United Methodist Church of the East Ohio Conference oppose any effort and legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana for recreational reasons in the State of Ohio.
In order for United Methodists to oppose Issue 3, and combat heart-felt commercials about people who could benefit from medicinal marijuana, I've provided information for your consideration. The information in this blog was gathered from speakers I recently heard while attending the Marijuana Summit sponsored by The Stark County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, and from multiple articles recently written on Issue 3.
If Issue 3 passes it would:
1) Change the Ohio Constitution.
2) Allow marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.
3) Give exclusive cultivation rights to a business group that would run 10 separate growing locations.
4) Would establish a possible 1,150 retail stores (1/10,000 residents) that would ONLY receive product from the 10 cultivation sites.
On the surface Issue 3 seems to be focused on the debate concerning whether or not marijuana should be legalized for recreational and medicinal use. Let’s put that particular discussion on the shelf for now because that’s really not the issue being brought by the group sponsoring this initiative (Responsible Ohio).
The heart of Issue 3 is whether or not Ohioans are willing to establish a marijuana cartel! A cartel made up of business investors who will receive constitutional authority to control the estimated one billion/year industry. That's the real substance of Issue 3! Ohioans are being asked to approve a constitutionally proposed business that benefits those currently bankrolling its passage.
These investors are currently bank rolling the Issue 3 initiative in the amount of 20 million dollars! They are also investing 20 million more to buy the land where the growing sites will be located, and they are also ready to invest 300 million to build the cultivation facilities.* If Issue 3 is passed the cartel will operate 10 constitutionally sanctioned marijuana cultivation sites that will grow product for the 1,000+ retail stores.
So, what’s driving issue 3? $$$$$$$ that's right, and potentially a great deal of $$$$$$$! Issue 3 is not about a grass roots (no pun intended) movement of libertarians who don’t want the government telling them what they can or can’t do. It’s not a compassionate movement to provide medicinal marijuana to those persons who might benefit from it for pain management. That's what the investors want people to believe! What’s driving Issue 3 is not weed but good old fashion greed.
I encourage you to vote against this badly written and badly proposed ballot initiative in November.
If Issue 3 fails we know the effort to legalize marijuana will not go away. There are those who believe that legalization of marijuana will eventually take place in Ohio. However, before it does it is important for state officials, professionals in public health, and community leaders come to the table to design a statewide public health approach that will reduce the potential harms caused by legalization. At that point we really can begin to discuss the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana for recreational/medicinal purposes.
Remember...Issue 3 it's not about weed but all about greed! Vote No on GREED (Issue 3) this November.
*Information for this blog can also be found at the following links: