County prosecutors voice opposition to proposed legal marijuana law in Ohio
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A group of county prosecutors from across Ohio is coming out against Issue 2, the proposed law on the statewide ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson is among those opposing Issue 2. One of his primary concerns is the potential for an increase in traffic crashes involving impaired drivers. He says it’s already difficult for police to prove someone is impaired and charge them.
“Issue 2 is going to put more drivers on the road who are high,” Dobson said. “It’s a difficult situation for law enforcement to detect until the damage is already done. You have any number of subtle and acute changes marijuana does to judgment making. Impaired judgment making is what causes deaths on the roadways.”
He said Issue 2 also makes it more difficult for police to investigate people if they’re driving while impaired. He said police have the ability to get a search warrant to confirm someone is driving while impaired by testing their blood, but said it’s not easy.
“It’s very difficult to get either to get hospitals to agree to comply, or get the individual to comply,” Dobson said. Currently, he said the county does prosecute people based on the “totality of the circumstances” with all of the evidence that prosecutors can demonstrate.
The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association said Wednesday that the group is also concerned legalizing marijuana will increase addiction issues and illicit marijuana sales.
The legislature could immediately repeal or revise the law if it passes. But prosecutors opposed to Issue 2 said that’s not a guarantee.
You can read the full text of Issue 1 (proposed abortion rights constitutional amendment) and Issue 2 (proposed marijuana law) here.
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