Health commissioner opposes Issue 3


By Wayne Allen

tallen@civitasmedia.com

Scioto County Health Commissioner Aaron Adams on Monday announced his opposition to Issue 3, which would amend the Ohio Constitution to the legalization marijuana, if approved by Ohio voters in November.

The organization ResponsibleOhio has been campaigning across the state, urging residents to vote yes. Adams said Issue 3 would not be good for this community, that’s still recovering from previous addictions.

“I think we’ve had enough and I think it’s the wrong choice. I don’t think it’s going to help our addiction situation at all,” Adams said.

Adams said he can see marijuana becoming a bigger issue for enforcement agencies, courts and employers, if legalized.

“People are going to want to go to a marijuana facility and self-medicate themselves, treating different aliments. They are going to be walking around high, claiming to be functional because it’s medically necessary,” Adams said. “I think we’re really going to open a can of worms, with this. We’ve dealt with the tobacco problems and particularly the smoking problems, but nobody is getting high on smoking.”

Part of Adams concern is the products that marijuana can turn into.

“It’s going to create a big safety issue with children and it can be put in edible product(s),” Adams said. “Think about trick-or-treat, if we get the wrong person out there, distributing this stuff to our children.”

The Scioto County Commissioners have also expressed their opposition to the issue.

If the ResponsibleOhio initiative is approved by Ohio voters, Scioto County would be home to a marijuana testing facility, with similar facilities scattered throughout the state.

The constitutional amendment would call for the product to be taxed at 15 percent. Of the tax revenue, 55 percent would go to cities, villages, and townships on a per capita basis, 30 percent would be distributed to counties on a per capita basis and 15 percent would finance a new state commission to regulate and license the industry, new nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, mental health and addiction programs, and related research by Ohio universities and nonprofit organizations.

Earlier this year, ResponsibleOhio released a report detailing how much money Ohio and local communities could receive if the initiative would be approved by Ohio voters.

The report shows that the legal marijuana industry would produce $554 million in new annual tax revenue for Ohio once the market stabilizes in 2020. County and local governments would receive $476 million, with the remaining $78 million going toward programs such as addiction prevention services, compassionate care for medical patients, regulation enforcement, and research on marijuana.

ResponsibleOhio compiled a similar report for each county in Ohio. It’s estimated Scioto County would receive $1.277,074 annually. Municipalities in Scioto County would receive $1,924,923. In total $3,201,997 would come to Scioto County.

For more information about ResponsibleOhio visit, responsibleohio.com.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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