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Government and Politics

Addiction Services director says legal marijuana sends bad message to kids
Ohio director says moves to legalize the drug hurts anti-drug programs

Karen Kasler
Addictions Service Director Tracy Plouck says legalization of marijuana in other states hurts Ohio's anti-drug message.
Courtesy of Brett Levin
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In The Region:

As the Kasich administration pushes a program to battle drug abuse among kids, a key member of the governor’s cabinet is raising concerns about the legalization of marijuana across the country.

The “Start Talking!” program seeks to get adults to talk to middle and high school students about the dangers of drug abuse. But Tracy Plouck, the director of the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, says any move to legalize marijuana conflicts with the message that program is sending.


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Plouk says, “I feel very strongly that marijuana is a gateway drug and I think that legalizing its use for any purpose is a huge problem for as far as sending messages to our young people and our workforce."  She adds, "it complicates drug-free workforce circumstances and also we don’t condone smoking.”

Polls show most Ohioans favor the legalization of medical marijuana. Backers of a ballot issue are gathering signatures to put the issue before voters in November. Bills to legalize marijuana have stalled in the Republican-dominated legislature.

Twenty states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and two of them, Colorado and Washington, have made recreational pot use legal as well.

Listener Comments:

I was appalled that a so called expert would be ignorant enough to call marijuana a 'gateway' drug. That statement has been proven to be false and inaccurate, yet a so called expert still says it? Either she is dumb as a rock and hasn't kept up with the latest research or she in fact is lying to bolster her case.

Posted by: Eileen Corrice (Lake County, the area you never cover) on March 31, 2014 10:03AM
No, legalization of cannabis puts your focus back on the REAL dangers to our children! Cannabis never kills, but tobacco, alcohol, meth, speed, heroin, and misused prescription drugs certainly DO kill our children every day! Get your priorities straight!

Posted by: Storm Crow (Weed, CA) on March 28, 2014 8:03AM
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