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Ohio Marijuana Legalization Effort Falls Short, Has Ten Days To Gather More Signatures


Responsible Ohio LogoThe ResponsibleOhio campaign turned in 695,273 signatures to try to put marijuana legalization on Ohio’s 2015 Election ballot. That’s more than twice the required 305,591 valid signatures, and means that of the signatures turned in, roughly 43.95% of them needed to be valid. Considering that the campaign hired professional signature gatherers, the validity rate didn’t seem like that big of a hurdle to jump over. However, that proved to be the case, as the ResponsibleOhio campaign failed to make the ballot due to a super low signature validity rate. Per Cleveland.com:

Pro-pot group ResponsibleOhio fell more than 29,000 signatures short of the number required to qualify its marijuana legalization issue for the November ballot, but will have 10 days to make up the difference.

To qualify for the ballot, ResponsibleOhio must collect at least 305,591 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters and meet a certain threshold in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Of the 660,190 signatures tallied by the secretary of state’s office, about 42 percent — 276,082 — were verified as valid by county boards of election. ResponsibleOhio had reported last month it submitted 695,273 signatures.

The political action committee plans to challenge the boards’ count, which they say excluded more than 40,000 signatures.

The campaign has until the 30th of this month to gather the needed signatures. Although the campaign only needs about 29,000 valid signatures to make the ballot, with such a historically low validity rate, they will need to actually gather over 69,000 signatures in the ten day window to ensure that enough of them are valid. ResponsibleOhio has a ton of money, and a small army of signature gatherers, so there’s a very good chance that they will still meet their goal. To put into perspective just how low the validity rate is for the ResponsibleOhio signature effort, consider a tweet that Russ Belville sent out yesterday:


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Johnny Green


  1. I don’t live in Ohio so honestly if the people of ohio want to screw themselves over by voting for this scam then that’s all fine. The same group is proposing the same bs in michigan if they succeed in ohio, in this sense they must be stopped.

  2. Kathleen Chippi on

    “I can see that the cartel provisions of this are so disgusting that some
    people just won’t vote for it. Why can’t you all understand that who
    gets to legally grow it commercially at the onset isn’t as important to
    some reformers as making it legal to possess, having a legal place to
    buy, legal to have a personal grow, and knowing that no one will die
    because they can’t access MMJ?”

    because we have lived through the ‘promises’ (LIES) here in CO, especially in the last 5 years. Pay attention. Convenience for some is no reason to give it to the rich people buying it’s passage…the only changes to come to CO are MORE repressive–and they add over 800 pages of new cannabis prohibitions to our books…instead of ending this 78 year war. And no pot is “lawful” in the US no matter what headlines or tweets you read—the courts have ruled it’s not.

  3. forget legalizing it. It needs to be decriminalized so they don’t tax the crap out of it and try to regulate it to where only their friends and family can run the businesses. Wake up people and read don’t just vote for something cause you think it would be good. People need to do actual research before signing or voting on anything.

  4. No I do understand why people would hate a monopoly, my initial reaction was to be grossed out by it too. But to vote against RO without working for an alternative like OTEP is to be an onlooker, not a reformer, that was my point. If I lived in Ohio I would be working to get OTEP on the ballot in 2016, but planning to vote for RO unless OTEP shows some unexpected strength between now and this November, when people have to decide about RO.

    I don’t expect to change your views, but there is also the national reform movement to consider. As one leading activist put it, this is an opportunity for weed legalization to leapfrog ahead of where it’s expected to be. No one was expecting any further states to legalize until 2016. If legalization of possession, personal growing, recognition for medicinal marijuana, and cannabis stores are all approved in Ohio in a few months, that’s a very big blow to prohibitionists, making it clearer than ever than cannabis prohibition is becoming untenable. It might be particularly helpful in Michigan, a neighboring state that has a strong legalization effort, and can’t afford to be left behind when it comes to the economic benefits of of normalizing cannabis.

    If this is approved how long will RO get to keep their monopoly on commercial growing? How many allies will they have in their fight for something offensive to such a wide range of people?

  5. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    Cannabis is a mild psychedelic. It is far weaker than LSD, psilocybin, or DMT. All of them sometimes have a quality that reveals a person’s hidden thoughts and dark side. The popular terms to describe this phenomena are paranoia and bad trip. A person who uses them properly will not object to this because one of the intentions is inner purification.

    However it goes farther than that. They change the personality of their users in things like the expression on their face, tone of voice, choice of clothes and haircut in a way that arouses the same feelings in others. As a result they may be hanging a guilt trip on somebody, who does not wish to deal with it.

    It’s a lengthy subject that is just beginning to be explored. Entheogens are not for everybody, just like not everybody wants to be a clergyman. Incredibly what we are seeing is a return to shamanism but on a far more sophisticated level.

  6. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    There is something about psychedelics that makes those that are seriously ignorant psychotic.

  7. I’m not concerned with another initiative I just care to see this ResponsibleOhio fail. There is nothing about this group that should attract you to vote for them.

    People who vote for them will be sewn lips to butt hole in a giant human centipede of the moronic – South park reference. It’s in the fine print.

  8. I think he was saying that anyone can grow their own tomatoes so they should also be able to grow their own marijuana.

  9. No one said that. Why do people always drag that ” children” argument into the picture. It would be treated like alcohol.

  10. Doubt it. These people are probably signing dead people’s names and the like. They are scum.

  11. I understand your wanting legalization but these people are offering you a faustian deal. These assholes are setting themselves up to make millions! That’s disgusting in my opinion.

  12. You don’t understand why people hate ResponsibleOhio?

    Just because they offer legalization, on their terms, you are on board to let the rich get richer?

  13. Your correct. I just think ohio would be screwing itself by voting for ResponsibleOhio. They are the type of people I can’t stand, I hate rich people who seek to control everything.

  14. Better proposals don’t magically appear. People who care enough do the work make them happen. If all the people hating on RO would work for OTEP there would be a viable alternative to RO.

  15. A lot of Ohioans who need medicinal cannabis don’t have access to it, you’re dreaming if you think otherwise. And buying medicinal cannabis on the black market is far from ideal, some strains are better for specific ailments than others, and you have little control over that in a black market.

    If you like buying from friends, how exactly is this going to stop you from doing that? You can still buy from your friends even if the legal dispensary price is a little cheaper, right? Are you worried that if this passes you won’t be able to buy from friends, or that other folks will no longer be forced to buy from your friends?

  16. “Legalize Marijuana Like Tomatoes !!”

    Yeah, no problem to pass that in Ohio. No one in Ohio will worry that you want children to be able to freely access cannabis.

  17. That’s bullshit Kathleen. I have no stake in this and I do believe in the free market. And I don’t like the cartel this sets up, but I like prohibition, especially of medicinal marijuana, a lot less.

    Reformers on both sides of this are demonizing their opponents, assuming the worst about their motives. the prohibs are loving it. I can see that the cartel provisions of this are so disgusting that some people just won’t vote for it. Why can’t you all understand that who gets to legally grow it commercially at the onset isn’t as important to some reformers as making it legal to possess, having a legal place to buy, legal to have a personal grow, and knowing that no one will die because they can’t access MMJ?

  18. Michigan has MILegalize as a solid alternative to RO style legalization. Does Ohio have a solid alternative?

    And are any of you folks dead set against RO working to show that OTEP can make the ballot in 2016, and have the resources to win?

  19. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    Most likely many of the disqualified signatures are in fact valid. It may not be difficult, though, to get the remaining 29,000. Even so it may be worth checking the disqualified signatures and the people who disqualified them.

  20. Are you going to be one of the share holders in this big scheme? If not, then why in the hell would you vote for such a stupid proposal? Are you a 98° fan or something? You want the rich opportunist to swoop in and control what should be a free market?

  21. Haha! You need to read the proposal again! I’m pro reform but this proposal stinks.

  22. People who pay attention to the details care. The only ones who knowingly support these clowns are ignorant and foolish.

    Once these rich smucks get their hands in Ohio they will spread their garbage agenda elsewhere.
    They plan on trying the same proposal in Michigan if they succeed in Ohio and they need to be stopped before they get ahead.

  23. Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels!

    Support your Local Private Caregiver / Grower

    Better Bud, Better Prices, Better People … and NO TAXES!

    Legalize Marijuana Like Tomatoes !!


  24. Kathleen Chippi on

    most of the opponents are free market people who will all be cut out of the ‘legal’ markets.

    and why are you so eager to take away your pot friend/supplier’s business and hand it to 1%ers?

  25. Kathleen Chippi on

    how many ohio’ians are not buying or consuming cannabis until a law changes? what’s the rush to take your pot business from your friend and instead give it to a already wealthy monopoly?

  26. Kathleen Chippi on

    “for ohio”? > more like “for monopoly’s” or “against the free market” or “for a handful of 1%er’s……

  27. Kathleen Chippi on

    the only people who support this are the ones who will benefit off the monopoly or the ones who do not believe in a free market.

  28. Kathleen Chippi on

    lol…yea inconsiderate of me to warn people about a pot monopoly trying to take over….. The only people who support this nonsense in a ‘free market’ are the people who benefit from the monopoly….

  29. How inconsiderate. You don’t even live here and you’re trying to dictate how those that do how to live. I’m not trying to tell you how to live. Please stay out of my business.
    A Voting Ohio Citizen

  30. for ever go vote sign now. most of the opponents are prohibitionist. they dont want any reform.

  31. Kathleen Chippi on

    I hope they spend lots more $$$ and FAIL as they deserve. If your in Ohio (my birth state)–either do not sign or continue to sign invalidly!!!

  32. Thank god they failed. These guys don’t need to control the market. Wait for a better proposal!

  33. I wonder if the validity rate will change once the Ohio Supreme Court completes its review?

  34. screw that vote against the monopoly the rich Ohio ten put together. They wrote into the bill full control over licensing kept within their business

  35. come on Ohio residents…get your act together. Seems to me t5he agency they hired needs to make amends for messing up…and get those votes

  36. This is a different group than who collected in the past. This group used shady practices, lied to signers. And used 5.9 million dollars in 6 months… Responsible Ohio campaign is ran by Ian James of the Strategy Network. If you noticed the validity rate for casinos also seemed low, he ran that campaign. The campaigns in the past didn’t collect as many signatures but they didn’t use shady practices like paying canvassers on signatures or lie.

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