Hundreds March In Marion To Fight Against Drugs

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Drug abuse and addiction and the crimes that go with them are becoming a growing problem in many central Ohio communities.

Sunday, the city of Marion took a stand to send a message to drug dealers and to give hope to people living in their neighborhoods.

About 500 people attended the Freedom March in Marion Sunday.

Many of those who participated said it's a wake-up call.

"We're losing our generation.  We're losing our generation to heroin.  We have 15-16-year-old kids that are shooting up heroin, we have so much crime in this town, we just decided to come together as a community and say, you know what, we are done, we've had enough," said organizer Scott Mason.

Just three weeks ago, authorities arrested dozens of people in a huge drug sweep across the city, the result of a 6-month undercover investigation.

"It's not just a police problem, it's an entire problem for the city of Marion, and these people realize that - they know they can't just call 911 and the problem goes away, so they're here today to show their support," explained Marion Police Chief Tom Bell.

Though a levy passed by voters last year helped the community hire back some laid-off officers, authorities say they still need help to crack down on the drug trade at the state  and even the federal level  to really tackle this problem.

"I want to see Marion become like Mayberry, what it used to be...I want to see people be able to not have to worry about going out of their house and getting robbed, I want to see kids playing in a park like this, in Garfield Park, and not having to pick up heroin needles and crack pipes, " Mason said.

The people say it starts with everyone believing  and working together for the common good  in getting rid of drugs.