Ohio’s top cop was blunt about his opinion on legalizing marijuana in Ohio: “I think it’s a stupid idea.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told a group at the Newark Rotary Club on Tuesday that efforts to legalize marijuana in the state would lead to increased use of the drug, more accidents and less healthy residents.
“The law is a teacher, and when the law says, ‘Well, this is OK for adults,’ people are going to use it,” DeWine said.
DeWine also had few kind words for the recent proposal to legalize the drug.
“The proposal, by the way, that I saw is just a ludicrous proposal. It’s basically legalizing a monopoly in the state of Ohio among a few individuals or a few companies who will be able to make all the money from the sale of marijuana,” he said.
ResponsibleOhio, a group that supports medical and personal use of marijuana, proposed legalizing marijuana for anyone older than 21 who can pass a criminal background check and taxing the drug at 15 percent. The proposed ballot initiative would create a seven-member Marijuana Control Commission to oversee and regulate the manufacture and sale of marijuana.
The proposal also would designate 10 locations to grow the marijuana. Those locations would be subject to annual audits and restrictions, such as being located at least 1,000 feet away from schools, publicly owned libraries, day cares or houses of worship, according to the proposal. How the locations would be selected and who would operate them remains unclear.
“Even if you think selling marijuana is a great idea, I don’t know why anyone would think just giving a few people who are going to put the money up to pass it on the ballot is a good idea to let them have that monopoly,” DeWine said.
To date, ResponsibleOhio PAC has not logged any contributions with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. The group’s paperwork for a tradename was filed by Columbus attorney Mark McGinnis, whose office specializes in campaign finance and election law.
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