As a Republican, people might not be surprised to hear that I am against Issue 3, the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana set to appear on the ballot this fall. They may, however, be surprised that I am not against Issue 3 because I think it’s morally wrong or because I think “those darn youths” will go on a frenzy of crime and unprotected sex, per the usual stereotype. That’s absolutely not the case.
I recognize the possible economic, medical and social benefits in legalization. I understand that bad drug policy has led to the incarceration of an embarrassingly high portion of the American citizenry. I also realize that marijuana has legitimate medical benefits and can help treat children with seizures, veterans with PTSD and more.
But let’s clear the haze around Issue 3. This initiative is not meant to help these people. It is meant to help a small group of self-interested businessmen get rich quick. What this proposal really does is establish a constitutional monopoly on growing marijuana and dictates who can and cannot enter the market.
This is not how democracy should work and we should stand up and shoot this initiative down. Ballot initiatives are meant to be a tool for putting power in the hands of the people, not taking it away and placing it in the hands of a few. We must stop these individuals from hijacking our Constitution for their own interests.
As a Republican, I highly value the American values of innovation and entrepreneurship. These values have built this great country. Allowing a handful of self-interested billionaires to deceive hard-working Ohioans and set up a market where they have total control over supply goes directly against these values. We must not pass a law that turns our Constitution into a straitjacket on entrepreneurship.
I am glad to see that the College Democrats at The Ohio State University, after doing their due diligence, now agree with us on this issue and have also urged voters to vote no on Issue 3. Let’s make sure voters know that this corrupt attempt does not work for the people but against them. There may be a time to legalize marijuana use to a degree, but it should be done the right way. Whether you support legalization or not, Vote NO on Issue 3.
Third-year in political science.
Executive director of the Ohio State College Republicans