Marijuana legalization supporters say DeWine’s opposition is the same tired talking points

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is coming out strongly against the proposed citizen-initiated marijuana legalization statute that voters will decide in November.

Marijuana plants at Hepworth Farms in Milton, N.Y.
Marijuana plants at Hepworth Farms in Milton, N.Y. [Mary Altaffer | AP]
“It would be a mistake. And it would be a mistake for a number of reasons,” DeWine said Monday.

When you legalize that, the governor said, you are sending the message to young kids it is ok. And that, he said, changes the culture of a community.

DeWine also argues that more kids who are underage will be getting their hands on marijuana, which, he says, is not that same as in the 1960s, 70s or 80s. This product has been developed and its potency is significantly higher than it was years ago, he said.

“This is not your grandfather’s marijuana or your grandmother’s,” DeWine said. “This is different.”

“He’s right about that because your grandmother’s marijuana wasn’t tested in pharmaceutical-based testing labs,” said Tom Haren, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group that’s backing the proposed statute.

DeWine, Haren said, is making old talking points that have no basis in today’s facts.

“Study after study after study shows conclusively that the regulation of adult use marijuana sales has no impact on youth usage in the 23 other states that have gone before it. It is a tired old debunked talking point,” Haren said.

Voters have rejected these arguments in other states, Haren said, and he expects Ohio voters won’t buy them either.