Ohio NAACP comes out against proposal to legalize marijuana

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 1, 2014, file photo, owner Bob Leeds inspects small "clone" marijuana plants growing under lights at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower and processor in Seattle. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The group representing NAACP branches in Ohio is urging voters to oppose a proposal on next week’s ballot to legalize marijuana for medical and personal use.

The Ohio Conference NAACP president said Tuesday that legalization would represent “tacit approval” of a drug with potentially far-reaching negative effects on families and children.

The proposed constitutional amendment, Issue 3, would let adults 21 and older buy marijuana and grow four plants. It creates a network of 10 authorized growing locations that are targeted in a separate ballot measure prohibiting constitutional monopolies.

Tuesday’s announcement marks a split among Ohio’s top black leadership. Issue 3 was endorsed by George Forbes, former president of the city council and NAACP in Cleveland. He says blacks have been disproportionately affected by a failed war on drugs.

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