DARKE COUNTY — Will weed win? Not if the Darke County Board of Commissioners has its way.
At its Monday session, the Darke County Commissioners passed a resolution against State Issue 3, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which will be voted upon by Ohioans in the Nov. 3 general election.
If Issue 3 passes, the measure would legalize marijuana for use by persons 21 years of age and older, and allow private individuals to cultivate and possess the substance in small amounts. It would also establish 10 marijuana farms in the state and allow for the sale of marijuana products by state-regulated shops.
ResponsibleOhio, the advocacy group promoting the measure, dismisses claims by critics that the amendment sets up a “marijuana monopoly” for a select group of wealthy investors.
The commissioners’ resolution against Issue 3 is not legally binding in any manner. However, it places Commissioners Diane Delaplane, Mike Rhoades and Mike Stegall in the critics’ camp.
“I oppose it just for the fact that it’s not needed,” said Rhoades upon passage of the resolution, who also cited the difficulties that marijuana usage presents to employers, law enforcement and medical professionals, among others.
Delaplane echoed his thoughts, saying, “My son-in-law is a doctor and has worked hard on this issue. We all know [marijuana] will be used for more than just medical reasons.”
The amendment’s effect on those under the age of 21 is among one of the reasons pinpointed by the commissioners’ resolution.
It reads, in part, “State Issue Three puts our children at risk by legalizing marijuana-infused products like candy and cookies, which often have dangerously high levels of THC [tetrahydrocannabinol], and are highly tempting to children, including very young children.”
Delaplane went one step further, placing the issue within the framework of federal law.
“The [United States] Food and Drug Administration is monitoring the substance,” she said. “If Ohio passes this measure, it will break federal law.”
The Commissioners passed two other resolutions as well, both expressing support for the passage of State Issue 1 and Issue 2.
Ohio’s Issue 1 would create a bipartisan process for drawing legislative districts, seen as a measure to prevent “gerrymandering,” or the manipulation of boundaries within the state that favors a certain political party.
Voter approval of Issue 1 would establish a bipartisan “Ohio Redistricting Commission,” which would be composed of seven members: the governor, auditor of state, secretary of state, and four members appointed by the majority and minority party leaders of the Ohio General Assembly.
Ohio’s Issue 2 has been proposed as a countermeasure to Issue 3, prohibiting “special interests” from amending the Ohio Constitution to create “monopolies, oligopolies or cartels.” If approved by voters, Issue 2 would make passage of Issue 3 null and void.
The Darke County Board of Commissioners meets every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at 520 S. Broadway in Greenville. Meetings are open to the public. Contact the office by phone at 937-547-7370 or email [email protected].