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Should Marijuana be Legal in Ohio?

A drug task force detective gives his reasons why the substance should not be legalized.

Aside from job security, there is one big reason Stow Detective Tom Gottas, of the narcotics division, says marijuana should not be legalized.

"We can't legalize something that leads to bad stuff," he said.

After 20 years on the Stow force, most people he runs into that are doing drugs admit they started with pot.

"It's a gateway drug," Gottas said. "They start with that, and then they want to use something stronger to get higher and get into higher levels of drug abuse."

One of Stow's bigger drug problems is marijuana at the high school, he said during a Neighborhood Watch meeting May 17.

"There's a lot of money in Stow and almost every student at the high school [has the ability to] drive to places like Akron to buy it," Gottas said. "Stow is a great place to live. We have the same problems everyone else has with marijuana,  just on a lesser level than bigger communities."

According to police, one in every four traffic stops in Stow results in finding marijuana or drug paraphernalia.

"I've see people's drug use, which started out with marijuana, turn into a big, big, big problem," Gottas said.

Police Seize 88 Marijuana Plants

Recently the department received an anonymous tip on its drug line, 330-689-DRUG, about a home less than a mile away from the that had a grow operation.

The department . Each plant was half grown and valued around $500 each.

Gottas said it's not uncommon for the department to receive an anonymous tip. While the Summit County Drug Task Force is constantly investigating, drugs are found for three reasons: revenge, case consideration and cash.

"Sometimes they get ripped off on a drug deal and want to report the seller," he said. "Other times they've been arrested and want to get their charges reduced."

The department also pays cash to those who go out and buy drugs undercover — usually between $50 and $100, said Gottas.

If anyone wishes to give an anonymous drug tip, call 330-689-DRUG. Gottas said the department does not trace those calls and a number is not picked up by caller I.D.

adam September 05, 2012 at 04:45 AM
to answer your question James, vaporization of marijuana has 0 breathing diseases associated with it. If marijuana was legalized, and real education given on the topic, maybe more people would know about it, and smoking of the substance would decrease (vaporizing is a no-combustion means of safely administering THC without tar, or carcinogens) . Also, the question you ask is bias and doesn't fully scope the entire issue. "would you prefer to be driving on the same road as someone under the influence of tobacco or of marijuana?" well... research on "driving high" is readily available for all who search for it: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/04/auto_insurance_site_says_marijuana_users_are_safer.php before you say that the site itself is bias, because it definitely is, note that the study the site quotes is a car insurance agency. THEY CANT be bias because they will lose money if their research is wrong, and make unwise business decisions based off of it. It's in their best interest to have the best research possible. Also, it is a fact that almost every state that has legalized medicinal marijuana is having less accidents, check the NORML site, and at least hear what they have to say. So going back to your question: "Would you prefer to be driving on the same road as someone under the influence of tobacco or of marijuana?" maybe the answer is simply: either, as long as they weren't drinking.
adam September 05, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I think your missing his point James, it is in the mans interest to say "drugs are gateway drugs" because without that, what else is stopping people from legalizing it? and, if it's legalized, he might lose his job, or his task force might get disbanded. when you said "So, when I am in need of an authoritative opinion on National Security I should ask a baker?" your stretching it. All dan is trying to say is that you need to consider the source. Try going to the NORML website, and hear what they have to say, weigh it with common sense, and see what the fuss is about. It's no mistake that 17 states are now medically approved, and 2 states are voting for legalization. I'm not here to tell you how to think, but i do want to assure your well informed
James Thomas September 05, 2012 at 01:32 PM
No Adam, I got his point exactly. In this discussion I consider you and NORML (which I have gone to) bakers.
Debbie S. September 20, 2012 at 12:06 AM
"Teenagers who frequently smoke marijuana may be setting themselves up for declines in intelligence and mental function that persist well into adulthood, new research suggests. In a decades-long study of more than 1,000 New Zealanders, researchers found that adolescents who used marijuana at least four days per week lost an average of eight IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38 -- a pattern not seen among people who began smoking heavily only in adulthood." "Heavy pot smokers tended to show deficits in memory, concentration, and overall brainpower in relation to their peers, but these problems were more pronounced -- and seemingly more lasting -- among those who picked up the habit as teens, the study found." http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/27/health/health-teen-pot/index.html%3Fhpt=hp_c3?iref=obnetwork
www September 29, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Lets see here of course people would say that it shouldnt be legal but none of them are doctors,it is not the gateway drug if you chose to do a stronger drug thats your promblem dummy,it was here before us and it will be here after us somke a joint or two and drive ,,but have a few drinks and see what happens,all people that think it should not be legal go crawl in a box and stay there ,Medical reasons yes just to smoke no ,it has so many good things about it ,so everyone needs to stop riding the coat tails of others and stop brown noising dummys ,go find the idiots making coke crack herion speed thoes are bad drugs not weed .

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