Issues 2 and 3: Hot topics at UF

Stolick addresses stigma, fears surrounding marijuana legalization

By Kevin Schrock


Although Issue 3 failed on Tuesday, Nov. 4, The University of Findlay held two events that aimed to inform students about Issue 3: the “Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative,” before they hit the voting booths or casted their absentee ballots.

The first presentation took place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 in front of a full Multipurpose Room in the Alumni Memorial Union. The first speaker, Lauren Berlekamp, BA, graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. She made it clear that all of her information was self-researched and didn’t represent anyone she worked for, or was associated with, just herself.

Berlekamp made it clear that she believes voters must consider the medical benefits of marijuana.

“You don’t have to smoke it to receive medical benefits,” Berlekamp said. “However, the prohibition of cannabis was a huge mistake.”

Berlekamp added in a counterargument for those concerned about addiction to the drug. She reasoned that the people get addicted to the drug simply because they have nothing better to fill their time with. In her opinion, it takes meaningful human interaction to fight addiction.

Two days later, Findlay’s own professor of philosophy, Matthew Stolick gave his take on the issue of Marijuana Legalization with his presentation entitled, “If You Can Drink a Beer, Then I Can Smoke a Joint.”

The nine-part presentation by Stolick covered all the bases on Issue 3 and even went into the finer points of Issue 2, legislatures countermeasure should Issue 3 pass. He began his presentation by talking about himself.

“I waited until I was 21 to smoke or drink and I’m happy about that decision,” said Stolick.

He also added that he realized he wanted to pursue the legalization of the drug when he was working in the hospice homes and saw dying patients be denied Marijuana when it seemed it was the only thing that would help them.

Stolick’s four main reasons for the legalization are respect for autonomy, meaning the patient has the right to health care decisions; beneficence, meaning it will help patients; non-maleficence, which simply means it will not harm patients; and finally justice, because it is more fair to patients to be provided marijuana then opiates.

To combat some of the fears of those wary of legalizing the drug, Stolick added in some facts.

“One-hundred-eleven million Americans try marijuana,” said Stolick. “Four percent of them use heroin, it is not a gateway drug.”

According to Stolick there is much less of a factor with car accidents with Marijuana then there is with alcohol as well.

“There is no change in the likelihood of accidents with users smoking marijuana,” added Stolick. “In fact, there is actually a decrease of accidents where Marijuana is legalized.”

Finally Stolick ended his presentation by talking about the reason, in his opinion, people should vote yes on Issue 3 and no on Issue 2. Issue 3 provided 10 growers of legal marijuana but Issue 2, the anti-monopoly amendment, combats that by not allowing the monopoly.

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