Task force sides against pot legalization

To the editor:

We are a group of concerned citizens who have joined together to develop a long-term framework to address at-risk social issues in our neighborhoods. Issue 3 falls under that category (the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana). Some major points to consider before you vote:

• Thirty percent of marijuana intoxications in King County, Wash., (where marijuana is legal) involved children ages five years old and younger because of marijuana infused products.

• According to a Newsweek Article, “Other symptoms of Colorado’s pot culture include increased use among teens, resulting in educational problems in middle schools and high schools, a spike in “edibles”-related emergency room visits, consumption by children and pets (i.e. lollipops and gummi bears, brownies, cookies) resulting in illness and death and regulatory confusion surrounding public consumption and enforcement.”

• Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 92 percent from 2010 to 2014, according to “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact” (2015).

• The constitutional amendment allows for the creation of 1,159 retail marijuana stores, according to “Marijuana and Ohio” (2015) – that is more locations than Starbucks or McDonalds, and nearly three times the number of state liquor stores in Ohio. Using a population-based formula, there could be up to 34 legal pot shops in Lorain County.

If Issue 3 passes it would legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana. We also believe that marijuana for medicinal purposes should be subject to the same research, consideration, and study as any other potential medicine under the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Join us in voting no on Issue 3 and keep our community, county, and state a safe and clean place to live and raise our families.

Mark Cawthon, Secretary

Amherst Community Task Force