There are two efforts to legalize marijuana in Ohio right now. One of them has drawn much more attention than the other, for both good and bad reasons. ResponsibleOhio is seeking to legalize marijuana (recreational and medical) in Ohio, but wants to limit the amount of people that can grow marijuana to just ten entities. The campaign has received quite a few donations, with arguably the highest profile donation coming from NBA legend Oscar Robertson. Per the Columbus Dispatch:
Also on Friday, ResponsibleOhio released the names of about a dozens individual investors, including Robertson, an All-American at the University of Cincinnati and former pro-basketball star. Robertson said in a statement that he decided to invest due to the need for medical marijuana. “It’s a terrible feeling when you can’t help someone suffering from cancer or another debilitating medical condition — I know from personal experience. But medical marijuana can give our loved ones relief. I’m part of ResponsibleOhio because I want to be part of making this change a reality.”
Lepore, the sister of state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, explained in a statement why she was investing. “This is an incredible opportunity for places like my hometown of Youngstown to generate significant dollars for things like road and bridge repair, which in turn will create thousands of needed jobs.”
Other investors include campus real estate developer Rick Kirk, NFL player Frostee Rucker, Cincinnati radio station owner Frank Wood, entrepreneur Sir Alan Mooney of Columbus, Cincinnati sports agent-businessman James Gould, philanthropist William Foster, finance executives William ” Cheney” Pruett and John Humphrey, real estate developer Bobby George, and Cincinnati philanthropist Barbara Gould.
The group needs to gather 305,591 valid signatures to put the initiative on the ballot, which would legalize both recreational and medical marijuana. While I support an end to marijuana prohibition in Ohio, I don’t like a model that puts all of the cultivation into the hands of the elite. I haven’t seen any polling for the initiative yet, but I’d imagine since it’s such a limited model that it polls better than if there was a home cultivation provision. But I can’t say for sure, and I’d liked to have seen a more balanced initiative.