Marijuana legalization

Issue 3 is a hot topic among college students

By Ashley Summerfield

A controversial issue will appear on the ballot this Nov. 3. The marijuana legalization movement that has been sweeping the country has reached the state of Ohio.

The Ohio initiated amendment to the constitution appears as Issue 3, accompanied by Issue 2 on the Nov. ballot. If this passes in Nov., anyone 21 years old with a valid state ID could use, possess, grow, and share up to eight ounces of the marijuana plant, anyone at least 21 (with or without license) could purchase, possess, transport, use, and share up to one ounce of marijuana, and anyone with a verified medical condition could use medical marijuana.

If this issue is incorporated, it has the potential to strongly effect college campuses.

The University of Findlay sophomore education major, Annie Phillips, says that people just have to be smart about it, like alcohol.

“If people are going to do it either way, maybe we would start educating the youth about it if it was legalized,” said Phillips.

She thinks marijuana is already on campus, so she is hopeful that if it is legalized, there will be regulations put in place on the UF campus.

Recent studies have shown marijuana can have several short and long term effects on the brain that could affect academic performance of students.

Some of the short term effects include altered senses, altered sense of time, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and impaired memory.

Long-term effects can include brain development issues, issues with memory, and issues with learning functions. On top of the effects on the brain, there are additional physical and mental effects that can be a result of marijuana use.

A common misinterpretation of marijuana is that it is not an addictive drug, but researchers have found that about every one in 11 users have become addicted.

“I was always against it, but after learning about all of the research that has been done, I have seen the other side of it,” said Phillips.

Like many students, Phillips is concerned with the issue, so she has taken time to learn about the pros and cons to legalization. She hopes all students become more educated on the issue before forming an opinion on the matter.

Many experts say that the passing of this issue will greatly influence the economy because it will be such a large market and the sale will be taxable.

Proponnets of the bill say making marijuana legal has the potential to create new jobs in Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine recently traveled to Colorado where a similar amendment passed. According to several Ohio news outlets, the trip raised concerns for Dewine such as the increase in impaired driving and several cases of young children being hospitalized after consuming edibles by mistake.

WKYC in Cleveland commissioned a poll from Kent State University which found 56 percent of Ohio voters plan to vote “yes” on Issue 3. KSU polled about 500 registered voters. Absentee voting and early voting in person have already started in Ohio. Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3.

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