Ohio State Representative Kirk Schuring will lead a bipartisan task force to evaluate if medical marijuana should be legalized in Ohio. ACT Ohio Executive Director, Matt Szollosi, accepted an invitation to be part of the State Medical Marijuana Task Force. He joins fifteen other task force members, who will meet weekly at the statehouse until late March.

Executive Director Szollosi commented, “My focus will be on reviewing the scientific research and seeing if we can help people in a meaningful way through legislation. Finding a responsible way to assist those in need, and balancing that with a regulatory format that prevents abuse is critical.”

Last November Ohio voters soundly rejected Issue 3, a constitutional amendment which aimed to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana. The measure would also have limited control of the state’s marijuana enterprise to a small group of investors. ResponsibleOhio was the group behind this legalization effort. Co-Founder of ResponsibleOhio, Jimmy Gould and Issue 3 author Chris Stock are part of the fifteen person task force.

ACT Ohio opposed Issue 3 when it was on the ballot last November. ACT Ohio’s opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment centered on the uncertainty of how it would impact its member’s strict drug-free programs. Strong drug testing programs are critical in the construction industry to ensure worker safety. Studies have consistently shown that union drug-free workplace programs have numerous benefits to both the workers and the employers, including: lower absenteeism, fewer accidents, lower worker’s compensation costs, lower medical costs, and higher productivity.

When asked if Szollosi sees a difference between Issue 3 and medical marijuana, he responded “There is clearly a distinction. I look forward to exploring how these policies have impacted other states, to see if Ohio might benefit from medicinal legalization.”

According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 90% of Ohioans supported medical marijuana legalization.

 

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