By Matt Lark, Candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives (District 57)
If elected as State Representative, it is my goal to spearhead a new drug prevention program in every public school system in the 57th District. I believe that prevention is one of the critical components of fighting the heroin problem that has truly spun out of control in our cities and townships within Lorain and Huron Counties. As a former mentor of a "Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs" program in Toledo, I personally witnessed how getting kids involved in the outdoors can do them a world of good. I would like to help set up outdoors programs/clubs within our high schools and/or junior high schools. Depending on the school system and mentors involved, activities could include fishing, archery, lure making, hiking, camping, fish cleaning and food preparation, hunting tips/information, stream sampling using nets, and much more. Below are some reasons to incorporate such a drug prevention program:
Kids are 45% less likely to try drugs in the first place if they have a mentor. Mentors would have to pass a state background check.
I believe fishing and hunting are addictive. I want to see our kids become hooked on wholesome activities and not on community destroying drugs such as heroin and crack.
These activities give kids that aren't in other programs) something to do and keep them out of trouble.
These activities tend to be life-long. They don't end with your last game in high school like some sports.
These activities tend to be family-oriented and tend to be passed on from one generation to the next. In other words, this is a form of very long-term course of prevention.
This program can be incorporated with no new tax dollars. Private donations and pre-existing grants are available.
In addition to drug prevention, I believe we need to adjust laws in a manner that will drive drug dealers out of our cities and townships here in Huron and Lorain Counties. If someone dies of a heroin overdose, judges should have the mechanisms in place to convict a dealer of manslaughter.
As your State Representative, I promise not to hold another job while in office. There is way too much work to be done here in Huron and Lorain Counties. I challenge my opponent, the current representative, to promise you the same. When not in Columbus, I will be recruiting volunteer mentors to serve within this program. We need a strong leader that will take ownership of this anti-drug initiative and see it through. I believe I am that person.