LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PROHIBITION SUPPORTS OHIO ISSUE 3, MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
New Law Will Improve Public Safety, Reduce Justice System Burden
Today, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of police, prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement professionals working to end marijuana prohibition, declared their support for Ohio’s Issue 3, the proposed constitutional amendment to tax and regulate marijuana in the state. The law would legalize the production, sale, and adult consumption of marijuana products in the state and permit licenses for specific distribution companies. If passed, the law would permit home cultivation of up to four flowering plants and possession and sharing of up to eight ounces by adults 21 and older with a valid state license. The new law also protects patients of any age with a doctor-certified debilitating condition by allowing safe access to regulated marijuana products.
“Legalization will take money away from the cartels, provide funding for public safety and health services, and reduce the violence associated with the illegal drug market. Passage of Issue Three puts us in charge, not the dealers,” said Cincinnati Police Captain Howard Rahtz (Ret.).
Ohio arrested nearly 12,000 adults for marijuana possession and distribution in 2012. Almost all of those arrests were for possession alone. While most individuals don’t serve jail time for possession alone, an arrest is a costly, damaging, and time-consuming ordeal. Marijuana arrests can cost steep fines, require defendants take time off work for court appearances, limit job and educational opportunities, and even take away rights from stable and nurturing parents. The process of an arrest is even more damaging to those in impoverished communities who often have less freedom with taking time off work, less cash for unplanned expenses, and fewer opportunities for economic mobility.
“Regulating marijuana is the only way we can be sure to keep it out of the hands of criminals, and ultimately, keep our kids and streets safer,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director for LEAP. “Controlling the drug has always been the goal – we’ve just been going about it the wrong way for a very long time.”
LEAP joins Issue 3 supporters that include former Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Ohio voters will make a decision on November 3rd, 2015.