YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If passed, State Issue 3 would legalize marijuana in Ohio for recreational and medical purposes. A group that calls itself “Citizens Opposed to Issue 3” say if the measure is passed, it would be detrimental for the state.
“I just believe lighting up and tuning out is not the key to a better and brighter future,” said Grace Family Church Pastor Jonathan Moore.
Moore joined a group of others concerned about the issue at a “Rally Against the Legalization of Marijuana” at the Covelli Centre on Thursday.
If State Issue 3 passes, Ohio would be the fifth state to approve marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Jerry Magada, a member of Citizens Opposed to Issue 3, said the group has been closely following other states that have approved marijuana use.
“We have two blue prints already that we can follow — that’s Colorado and Washington state,” he said. “From everything we’ve seen coming from those two states, everything about the legalization of recreational marijuana is bad.”
He said the statistics say it all, quoting information on an increase in marijuana-related deadly crashes and DUIs since marijuana was legalized.
Data from the state Traffic Safety Commission shows that the number of Washington drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for active marijuana doubled from 2013 to 2014 – the first year of legal marijuana sales in the state. The number of drivers testing positive for active THC increased, from 65 percent (38 of 60 drivers) in 2013 to an alarming 85 percent (75 of 89 drivers) in 2014.
Half of these THC-positive drivers were also under the influence of alcohol, and the majority of those also exceeded the alcohol limit for driving, according to the commission.
Magada said work-related injuries and work-sick time abuse has also increased dramatically in states where the drug was legalized.
But when it comes to medical marijuana use, Citizens Opposed to Issue 3 is not necessarily against it.
“We are not against the medicinal use of marijuana, but I think people need to be sensible, and I think proponents of this issue are pushing that to try to hide all the other bad things that this issue will do,” Magada said.
Magada, who works as a social worker, said he sees the negative effects of marijuana first-hand, on a daily basis.
“I see a lot of adults and adolescents, who are seeking to move their life forward and who are trying to advance their education and also in the job market, but what marijuana does is it takes the motivation away from them,” he said. “It suppresses their motivation.”