Ohio Leaders Must Act to Protect Communities From Predatory Addiction Industry 

With Passage of Issue 2, Ohio Legislature Should Eliminate Commercial Sales and Take Steps to Prevent Against Growth of Addiction, Enact Prevention Measures, Create Health and Safety Guidelines for Commercial Sales
(COLUMBUS, OH) – With numbers still being counted, it appears Issue 2 will pass. Of note, even though the anti-Issue 2 campaign was outraised and outspent, it outperformed opposition to Issue 1 (abortion), which spent millions more. As of 9pm ET, projections show a 7% better tally for no on 2 versus no on 1. With the passage of Issue 2 in in Ohio, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action) President Dr. Kevin Sabet is calling on state leaders to act to protect residents from the predatory addiction-for-profit industry that will fill communities with dangerous high-potency drugs:  

“After spending millions to legalize marijuana in Ohio, the industry and its forces were able to spread enough misinformation about the drug to get it commercialized.“

The data are clear that Big Marijuana is a predatory industry intent on creating a new generation of drug users to fill the pockets of Wall Street investors. They are actively pushing products that medically and scientifically have been demonstrated to cause harm. 

“This fight is not over. Given Issue 2 was statutory – not constitutional – lawmakers have authority to make changes to the law. They should eliminate the provisions allowing for commercial sales, advertising, and production, at a minimum. National polls show that when given the options of decriminalization and medical use, voters overwhelmingly do not favor recreational sales. 

“Notwithstanding these changes, SAM will redouble our efforts to ensure Ohio’s leaders create a strong regulatory framework that protects our young people and puts health and safety above the addiction industry’s profits. Ohio should immediately prioritize prevention education, especially in school-age children, enact strict potency caps for THC drug products, prohibit advertisement aimed at young people, and mandate clear warning labels for all THC products. 

“Ohio cannot let this industry regulate itself. No member of any state body that regulates marijuana should have a financial stake in the industry while serving on that body. Ohio should enact clear ethical standards that prohibit marijuana regulators from working for the industry after leaving their regulatory position. Ohio should also enact mandatory reporting requirements on things like drugged driving reporting, THC-related poison control calls, and other impacts to children and youth. Municipalities should immediately begin opting out of stores and consumption sites to keep these drugs out of their communities. 

“Our staff and volunteers did an incredible job getting folks engaged on this issue. I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to public health and safety. Parents, law enforcement, medical professionals and others have all stood against the drug industry, and we will continue to support them in their fight.”