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WYSO's coverage of the 2011 Election

Ohio NAACP Comes Out Against Proposal to Legalize Marijuana

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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.