As an elected official, I represent my constituents on this issue. It seems clear that most recognize the benefits of medical marijuana, as reflected by a bipartisan effort to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio. However, I do not agree with the punitive and restrictive nature of the new law, which will continue to make it difficult for those who could drastically reduce their suffering from illness to do so. Regarding recreational use, my sense from most people in my district, not to mention regionally and nationally, is that they see benefits to decriminalizing marijuana in terms of decreasing burdens on our justice system and increasing business and tax revenues. Certainly, safety and health concerns must be addressed with any policy change on this issue. It is critical that we elect state legislators who have the intellect, savvy and will to effectively tackle problems and take advantage of opportunities.