State officeholder says he smoked weed in the 70s, is opposed to Issue 3


Katie Wedell of the Springfield-News Sun talked to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost Monday who says he experimented with marijuana while a student at Ohio State University in the 1970s, but that doesn’t negate his current stance against legalized recreational marijuana and Issue 3.

Speaking at Springfield Rotary on Monday, Yost said he is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana and thinks Ohioans should be able to vote to end the drug’s prohibition if that’s their wish.

He opposes Issue 3’s creation of a “cartel” of investors and supports the passage of Issue 2 to prevent special interests from being written into the Ohio constitution.

Issue 3 is ResponsibleOhio’s ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana both for medical and recreational use, establish 10 grow sites across the state and allow adults to harvest up to four plants at home for personal use.

Issue 2 was put on the ballot by state lawmakers and would outlaw monopolies in the state constitution and could void Issue 3, even if it passes.

“Legalization of pot is a fine thing,” if the voters want it, Yost told our statehouse reporter Laura Bischoff back in May before the introduction of Issue 2. There is nothing in the amendment that prohibits the legalization of marijuana by voter initiative down the line.

“You could even go so far as to say we want to legalize it for recreation and medical and there shall only be 12 places… that wouldn’t run afoul (of Issue 2),” he said in May. “It’s only when you start drilling down and singling out the winners and the losers that it becomes a problem.

But even under the right circumstances, Yost said he doesn’t personally support recreational use. He’d like to see more data on public safety and health impact from states like Colorado before he would do so.

“It’s amazing to me that someone like Dave, who smoked marijuana, is so concerned about it. Obviously it didn't affect him becoming an auditor,” said Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, countering Yost’s claims that weed is a gateway drug.

“If it was a gateway to anything it was a gateway for David Yost to become the auditor of state,” he said.

Yost confirmed to Bischoff back in May that he smoked pot in college, but said during his years as a prosecutor he saw the devastating effects of drug addiction and therefore is not in favor of recreational legalization.

Yost and other politicians are using scare tactics to continue a failed prohibition, James said.

“It's kind of reefer madness, fear tactics that voters reject,” he said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio Politics

Thieves steal 50 guns from area store
Thieves steal 50 guns from area store

Police are looking for at least five people who stole 50 firearms from a Sharonville gun store Sunday, authorities said.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the thieves. The burglary occurred...
5,000 pigs die in massive Ohio barn fire
5,000 pigs die in massive Ohio barn fire

Firefighters from five counties, including Greene County, battled a massive barn fire Tuesday at a hog farm in southwest Fayette County that killed approximately 5,000 pigs. The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. at the Straathoff Swine Farm, 7111 Old Route 35SE in Wayne Twp. The fire spread quickly through the facility, causing intense heat and extremely...
Former Allen County sheriff indicted on several charges
Former Allen County sheriff indicted on several charges

A former Ohio Sheriff has been accused of taking bribes from drug dealers, and tipping them off to raids. Former Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish faces a six-count indictment following a 21-month investigation by the Cleveland Office of the FBI. Crish is accused of asking for and accepting bribes from drug dealers, along with allegedly tipping them off...
Gas prices to drop around 10 cents this week
Gas prices to drop around 10 cents this week

The average price of gas in Ohio drops 10 cents this week. Ohio has topped the charts for the biggest weekly change in gas price averages in the country; Ohio is the 11th lowest in the nation at $2.70 per gallon. Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Monday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing...
New Miss Ohio crowned after third time in competition 
New Miss Ohio crowned after third time in competition 

Miss Maple City Matti-Lynn Chrisman of Cambridge was crowned this year's Miss Ohio Saturday, earning her spot to compete in the Miss America pageant in September.  The 22- year-old captured the crown on her third time competing at Miss Ohio. Chrisman also competed three times as a teenager in the Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen program.  &ldquo...
More Stories