Ohio’s Attorney General believes the Toledo’s new pot ordinance will turn the city into a haven for drug cartels. In September 2015, residents of Toledo, Ohio voted 11,663 to 4,911 to pass the “Sensible Marihuana Ordinance,” which eliminated the punishments for possessing and trafficking marijuana. It makes the crime either a minor drug offense or a fifth-degree drug felony.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine actually filed a lawsuit in state court to get the ordinance thrown out. In addition to believing the new law’s provisions are illegal, Dewine says the “ordinance encourages drug cartels to set up marijuana distribution operations in Toledo with less fear of prison or penalties,” according to AllGov.com.
In the past decade, Ohio has become the epicenter of opioid—and now Mexican heroin—abuse as a new generation of Midwest drug users have made the switch from pills to more potent illegal drugs. Mexican cartels have quickly exploited this growing demand by importing high-purity black tar and white powder heroin into the region and developing innovative ways for distributing it on the street.
“Absent legal action, it is not hard to imagine international drug rings making Toledo their regional base of operations,” DeWine said in a press release. Per AllGov.com, Toledo was able to pass the ordinance because the city is subject to Ohio’s Home Rule Amendment, which gives some cities the right to change how some crimes are charged.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.