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Community leaders voice opposition to Issue 2

| October 23, 2023
Buckeye Career Center Superintendent Bob Alsept shares his concerns about Issue 2 during a press conference at the New Philadelphia Fire Station. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Oct. 23, 2023) – Some familiar faces came together Friday to talk about why they’re against the statewide ballot proposal to legalize and tax adult marijuana use. 

Empower Tusc invited the press to the New Philadelphia Fire Station to hear from local leaders opposed to Issue 2. State Senator Al Landis called it a ‘sweetheart deal’ for the cannabis industry that would make our roads and workplaces more dangerous.

“Sometimes ballot language and how the laws are written can be confusing. I just want it to be clear, I’m a solid no.”

Empower Tusc Coordinator Jodi Salvo holds up packaging for marijuana edibles from states where adult cannabis use is legal.

Passage on November 7th would allow Ohioans 21 and older to buy and possess up to 2 and a half ounces of cannabis, 15 grams of concentrates, and grow up to six marijuana plants. Empower Tusc Coordinator Jodi Salvo illustrated with a bag of oregano. 

“Two and a half ounces equates to about 200 joints so this would be legal in our communities.”

Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell says crime is up in places that have passed similar measures, which allow addiction to thrive and the black market to step out of the shadows.

“The black market will absolutely adore us legalizing it and putting any rules we want on it because they’ll sell their product. Individuals will get a legal container. They’ll replace it with an illegal substance in it to carry around with them.” 

Buckeye Superintendent Bob Alsept fears more potent and friendlier-looking marijuana products, which he says have already been finding their way into kids’ hands and the career center more than ever before.

“We’re not finding students in drug sweeps and things like that because – big tobacco started it – it’s easy to hide. It’s easy to conceal. The dogs, the smells… It’s more difficult than ever before. We’re finding them because they get so whacked out they can’t function.”

Friday’s press conference also included remarks from Doctor Lori Kuehne, who practices family medicine in New Philadelphia; Tuscarawas Central Catholic senior Carson Norris; and a Columbus area woman who lost her daughter in a crash caused by a driver high on marijuana. You can watch it in its entirety on Empower Tusc’s Facebook page.   

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