COLUMBUS, Ohio – “We hope voters will take a long look at all of the ramifications when they vote upon Issue 3 to legalize marijuana in Ohio,” said Fredrick Pausch, County Engineers Association of Ohio executive director.
“Job number one of the county engineer is to ensure the safety of the traveling public. We have way too many problems as it is with Ohioans driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Legalizing marijuana use will only make that worse. Please ask yourself, ‘do you want your family to be on the highway with more inebriated drivers?’ ” he said.
The CEAO board voted to oppose State Issue 3 – a constitutional amendment that would allow for the legalization of marijuana in Ohio.
Ohio’s county engineers are responsible for the safety of 26,326 bridges and 28,971 miles of urban and rural roadways that are vital to the combined growth of jobs and prosperity in the state of Ohio.
“The county engineers cannot support State Issue 3 because of serious roadway and workplace safety concerns,” stated Pausch.
By legalizing marijuana, Issue 3 would:
• make it more difficult for county engineers to find workers who can meet commercial drivers license requirements;
• have a negative impact on existing law on liability for workplace accidents;
• create a dangerous work environment for local, county and state road crews by increasing the number of people who would drive while high;
• increase costs to Ohio taxpayers.
The County Engineers Association of Ohio strives to construct solutions for many challenges to Ohio’s local infrastructure. The safe and efficient movement of commerce is one of its top priorities.
“The legalization of marijuana would not only create numerous workplace concerns,” said Pausch, “but put our road crew employees — your friends and neighbors — in harm’s way.
“All travel begins and ends on local roads, so let’s keep them as safe as we can.”