Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Open Letter from the Sheriff and Police Chief's of Darke County on Issue 3

On November 3, 2015, you will make a decision on Issue 3 and Issue 2. As you know, this issue will allow marijuana to become more prevalent in our communities. As the local law enforcement agency heads, we are writing to ask that you vote NO on Issue 3. This issue will create a legalized drug cartel in Ohio. This means they will operate a monopoly on marijuana sales in Ohio. Issue 2 will stop the monopoly process if Issue 3 passes. Therefore, we ask that you vote YES on issue 2 and NO on Issue 3. If Issue 3 passes, we will see an increase in marijuana related vehicle crashes and a rise in other crimes that will come as a result of this proposal. This is just some of what you won’t hear from those who have paid millions to put this on the ballot.

As we look at the history of marijuana in our community, our State, and in our Nation, it has most certainly been a hot topic for years. Contrary to what television ads may say, our local enforcement efforts are not spent tracking down marijuana smokers. Our enforcement efforts have been primarily on harder drugs, like heroin or cocaine for a number of years. Our prisons are not full of people that were caught holding small amounts of marijuana. In fact, there are very few in our State's prisons that are incarcerated for the primary offense of possessing marijuana. Law enforcement typically gets involved with a marijuana user or dealer because they have made themselves known to us by violating laws.

Beyond this proposal, look south of our border into Mexico. Drug cartels in Mexico, who ship thousands of pounds of marijuana to the United States each year have made a several billion dollar profit from users in North America. So, our answer is to legalize marijuana and that will solve our drug issues? This argument doesn't make sense. Cartels already have figured out that there are States willing to legalize marijuana and this will take some of their profits. Instead, they began sending heroin to our country to poison our communities. Now, we have allowed a few to begin to change the face of American values. The argument is that as long as you use marijuana responsibly, it should be okay. So, who is left to investigate those who don't use marijuana responsibly? Who pays for their treatment when they can’t hold a job or have health insurance?

As voters, you have a right to say no to something that will not be a good thing for our State. We ask that you investigate this issue further and become familiar with why we strongly oppose it. For example, did you know that convicted felons could own their own marijuana shop? Did you know that there will be no regulations on mixing marijuana into candies or food products? The average THC (the most active ingredient of marijuana) levels in edibles can reach as high as 12–15%. The modern processing of marijuana has made the potency of it much higher than what was previously accustomed to in the 1970's as an example. Today's hybrid versions, which includes extracting the oils from the plants can have THC levels as high as 90%. These oils can be then used in today's smoking instruments that are more commonly used for tobacco products. So, if you are a parent or grandparent, are you prepared to allow your child/grandchild to visit at a friend's house in the future not knowing if they will be potentially ingesting something containing marijuana? If you are a business owner, are you prepared for the effects of this on the workforce? Local business owners already know that finding quality employees can sometimes be challenging. Smoking marijuana will not improve someone's likelihood of being employed.

The proponents of this issue want to sway your vote because they stand to make millions if the vote goes their way. How will this vote affect you and your family? If you don't know the answers, we ask that you educate yourself and vote NO on issue 3! By voting NO, you will join others that include: Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Manufacturers' Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Prosecutors Association, Ohio Coroner's Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the Drug Free Action Alliance, and many more organizations and agencies throughout our great State. Help us take a stand! Be a part of the movement that stands on the facts that drug use is not good for our State.

Sheriff Toby L. Spencer, Darke County
Chief Dennis L. Butts, Greenville
Chief Andrew Ashbaugh, Arcanum
Chief Chester F. Banks, New Madison
Chief Mark E. Humphreys, Versailles
Chief David A. McHenry, Union City, Ohio
Chief Frank N. Shapiro, Ansonia
Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby, III

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