Regional Chamber opposes marijuana amendment

Aug 26, 2015
The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Board of Directors has decided to oppose State Issue 3, the ResponsibleOhio marijuana amendment.
The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Board of Directors has decided to oppose State Issue 3, the ResponsibleOhio marijuana amendment.

The proposed constitutional amendment would legalize recreational and medical uses of marijuana for those 21 and older. Home growing for personal use would be permitted while production of marijuana for sale would be restricted to 10 sites. The marijuana would then be sold in retail outlets.

After hearing from speakers on the issue, the Regional Chamber’s Government Affairs Council, comprised of local business leaders, voted to recommend opposing the amendment. The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to accept that recommendation.

“There are many pitfalls to legalizing marijuana that are being felt in states such as Colorado and that would be best avoided here in Ohio,” Regional Chamber President and CEO Tom Humphries said.

Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia all have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

ResponsibleOhio’s proposal will appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot. If approved, Ohio would become the first state to legalize both medical and recreational use in one step.

The Chamber believes that should the amendment pass, there could be a negative impact on workplaces in the Mahoning Valley and throughout Ohio. Issues of concern include: difficulty in recruiting drug-free employees; implications for workplace safety; impact on workforce productivity, quality and costs and the resulting effect on employer liability. 

The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber joins many other business groups and social service agencies in opposition to the amendment.

The Regional Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Trumbull and Mahoning counties. Last year it attracted $126 million in business investments that created 484 new jobs in the Valley. It has another $1.4 billion in pending projects. For additional information, visit www.regionalchamber.com .