Some Ohio state officeholders admit to using marijuana

The issue came up during a forum in Columbus Thursday

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Auditor Dave Yost, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges and Democratic legislative leaders Fred Strahorn and Joe Schiavoni admitted they used marijuana as high school or college students but said they gave it up long ago.

Treasurer Josh Mandel, Attorney General Mike DeWine, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Senate President Keith Faber and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said they have never used weed.

The political leaders at a media session Thursday were responding to a Dayton Daily News question about whether they have used marijuana, and if so when was the last time.

Husted said he last used it in 1989. That year he was an All-American defensive back on the University of Dayton’s Division III National Championship football team.

“I plead guilty,” said O’Connor, a former county prosecutor. She added that she used it in college but has never tried any other illicit drugs.

Yost said he last used marijuana in 1978 but cautioned reporters not to hold him to that exact year. “When I said 1978, that was my best recollection.”

Gov. John Kasich, who is running for the GOP nomination for president, has admitted in previous interviews that he has used marijuana.

Faber, R-Celina, said he never tried it. “My dad was law enforcement. I never wanted to disappoint him.”

State lawmakers have been weighing how to address medical marijuana since Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative in November that sought to legalize pot for medical and recreational use. The measure, Issue 3, would have established 10 sites with exclusive authority to grow marijuana, and with profits going to the issue’s deep-pocketed investors.

While the initiative tanked, polls surrounding the ballot issue suggested Ohioans support medical marijuana.

There are several efforts underway to put the issue before Ohio voters again this November.

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