A new report coming out of Colorado is being labeled an ‘ominous’ sign by the Ohio pot opponents, but proponents of Ohio Issue 3 is calling this report ‘fear mongering’ leading up to the November 3 election. There were a lot of statistics thrown out in this Colorado report, but when you really dig into the details, it is pretty obvious that there were a lot of oddities about the numbers that really don’t add up to the real truth.
The third annual report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area was just released Monday, and it showed the effects of marijuana in the state. The report was generated through funding from the National Office of Drug Control Policy, which it is important to point out is not exactly happy about the legalization of weed on any level, which could result in bias statistics. The report sh owed that there was a 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, a surge in hospitalizations and emergency-room visits, and also claimed people 12 to 17 also had increased their pot usage. The report also showed that there were 40 percent more school expulsions, with most being marijuana related incidents, and this was since 2008. There also was a greater exposure of the weed to young children, and a 2,000 percent increase in the amount of mail that had been intercepted from Colorado going to other states. There also was reportedly 32 marijuana extraction-lab explosions just in 2014 alone.
Curt Steiner, who is a political consultant and also a spokesman for Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies had something to say about the report coming out of Colorado. Steiner said that the handwriting was on the wall in terms of what would happen to Ohio if Ohioans approve the legalization of marijuana both on a medical and recreational level. Steiner said that a few self-selected wealthy investors are putting Ohioans at risk by inflicting permanent damage on the state. The report was called ‘fear mongering’ by ResponsibleOhio, which is the group that is putting the legalization of marijuana on the ballot in Ohio. ResponsibleOhio executive director, Ian James, said that some of the findings are clearly wrong, including how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already confirmed there was no increased risk of crashes when it came to being associated with testing positive for pot. James also went onto say that the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey also showed that the pot use among youth actually had decreased since legalization, not went up like the report claims. James said that voting “Yes” on Issue 3 in Ohio will allow Ohioans to finally get rid of the failed prohibition of pot, and without it our streets will continue to be filled with drug dealers who are not creating legitimate jobs. The traffic deaths have declined in Colorado, but the percentage of pot-related deaths increased according to the report, and the Healthy Kids Survey they used was from 2013, and that was a year before personal use became legal within the state. So you can clearly see that there are issues with the report just by doing a little bit of homework about what statistics they used, which of course, is due to this being an opponent of pot in the first place. According to the Rocky Mountain group, they used data from law enforcement agencies, health-care reports, and other agencies to get to their final numbers. Citing several news stories from the state that included using stuffed animals filled with pot, along with 7.2 pounds of marijuana-infused Halloween candy, and Denver having a 10 percent increase in crime. Out of $63.4 million in taxes that came from marijuana sales, $22 million went to enforcement, $29.9 million went to the schools, and local government got $6.6 million. There are 322 retail stores for pot, with 397 cultivation sites, and 98 infusion businesses. There are also 16 different testing sites along with 505 dispensaries, and 748 cultivation sites for the medical pot.
In Ohio, Issue 3 would propose a constitutional amendment for the legalization of weed for recreational use among people who are over the age of 21. The medical use would be for those with documented medical conditions. Only 10 investment groups would have ownership of the cultivation sites, which are the people funding the campaign. The sales would be taxed at all levels, with most of the proceeds of the sales going to the local governments, which could create millions for the small local governments in the state of Ohio. For now, opponents are using this flawed report to try to stop Ohioans from voting yes on Issue 3, but people need to know this report is definitely one-sided when it comes to facts.