Hancock County’s primary health organizations have taken a stand against State Issue 2, which, if approved by voters, will legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults throughout Ohio.
The Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, along with two community-wide associated coalitions, recently passed a resolution against Issue 2.
The resolution was signed at the Sept. 26 board meeting by Ann Woolum, ADAMHS Board chairperson, on a motion made by Jim Darrach, and seconded by Rick Eakin. Joining the Board in the resolution were the Hancock County Community Partnership and the Hancock County Coalition on Addiction.
In the resolution, the organizations make three arguments in opposition to legalization, which is on the Nov. 7 general election ballot. Early in-person absentee voting started last week and continues through Nov. 5.
Zach Thomas, with ADAMHS, was on with WFIN’s Chris Oaks.
Unlike alcohol, which has research and scientific evidence that provides low-risk alcohol use guidelines based on biology, family history, and psycho-social factors, no such evidence-based guidelines currently exist to guide recreational marijuana use, according to the resolution.
In addition, the resolution says the current illegal status of recreational marijuana in the state should be maintained because it is a needed barrier. “Many individuals will not engage in the behavior recreational of marijuana use simply on the fact that it is illegal,” the resolution states.
The Board also has an “amplified concern” related to underage use since legal recreational marijuana use would increase access and social acceptability. The resolution says that passage of the issue may result in more youth using marijuana, potentially leading to an increase in problem behaviors, such as substance use disorders, delinquency, and decreased academic performance.
The three organizations concluded that they oppose any effort, whether through ballot initiative or legislative action, to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Ohio.