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It’s Official – ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative Makes The Ballot


ohio marijuana medical marijuana legalizationBy Phillip Smith

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday afternoon that the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization has qualified for the November ballot.

Husted reported that the initiative campaign had collected 320,267 valid voter signatures; it needed 305,000 to qualify for the ballot.

The initiative is controversial among marijuana legalization supporters because it creates a “monopoly” of 10 allowed commercial marijuana grows, and those spots have already been allocated to people who have invested in the campaign.

The initiative would also create a system of licensed marijuana processing facilities and retail outlets. And it would allow individual Ohioans to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana.

“It’s time for marijuana legalization in Ohio, and voters will have the opportunity to make it happen this November — we couldn’t be more excited,” said ResponsibleOhio spokesman Ian James after Husted’s announcement. “By reforming marijuana laws in November, we’ll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities.”

Look for extensive coverage of the initiative and the campaign from the Chronicle in coming days and weeks. In the mean time, check out our in-depth coverage of the initiative and the controversy from last month here.

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  1. Huntsman smoker on

    Remember guys, the WHOLE idea is legalization. Who gives a shit if the investors make millions. On that ideology, let’s not buy anything EVER. Because someone is getting rich. This is called compromise. I’m an Ohioan. I want my pot legal fellas. There are mega rich people out there and I don’t give a shit, why , cause eventually their money won’t mean shit anyways, and I don’t know them or even care. I just don’t wanna go to jail for smokin my meds and I want my type of medicine to be MY choice, NOT some rich guy who doesn’t care about me. This isn’t just pot, it’s the fundamental right to live your lives as you see fit. Let’s seize that opportunity however we can.

  2. It’s nonsense to decry the situation for marijuana consumers in bordering states. – It will be a WORLD of improvement for them. – Just ask marijuana consumers in Idaho, Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc. – Plus, it will be a big tipping of public support for re-legalizing in their own states.

  3. Right. And ten different growers is not a monopoly. In fact, other states have similar limitations on the amount of growers allowed.

  4. >>>”this is one of the reasons so many activists oppose this bill.

    Whoa there, bud. – FAR more marijuana reformers support RO than are against it. And I don’t trust your “perspective” on the anti-voter amendment. – Until we get official word on this, we should assume it will cancel out the whole thing.

    You greedy growers are are as deceptive as the prohibitionists – and you will vote together on the Ohio re-legalization initiative. – Gee. What a coincidence.

    The anti-voter amendment is many things, but it’s primarily a highly unethical move to change the rules in mid-stream to thwart the will of Ohio voters who mostly support re-legalization. – You want to bring this to a vote? – Fine. But not until 2016.

  5. I live in Cincinnati, which is about 15 miles from the Indiana state line, and just a bridge away from Kentucky. Both of those neighboring states have much more restrictive laws right now on cannabis than Ohio does. Both of those neighboring states also send hundreds of thousands of workers to Ohio everyday for their Greater Cincinnati jobs.
    It will be pretty different from the situation with Colorado and neighboring states just due to the sheer number of “out of state” license plates that would pass any cop camped out at the border in Harrison or Covington.
    I’m not saying random or false-pretext stops wouldn’t happen if Ohio legalizes, but it sure wouldn’t constitute low-hanging fruit for law enforcement.

  6. And those patients will need to worry about their home state doctors continuing to provide care for them if they choose to self-medicate in another state. It’s not right but it will become an issue just as those random stops right across the state line in Kentucky and Indiana. I am unsure about Indiana, but Kentucky does not offer voter initiatives to change their constitution so I definitely expect an increase of arrests once Ohio legalizes.

  7. No, the only part that would be overturned would be the portion that is in opposition if the anti-monopoly passes. It’s not an all or nothing vote. The voters are voting for retail sales, MMJ, and homegrows with legal possession. I would also reserve judgement even if one gets more votes than the other if both pass because this will be headed to court– the part that directly affects what the anti-monopoly bill aims to prevent.

    Having said that, IF both pass and the anti-monopoly cancels out the entire passed proposal, RO should worry more about the inevitable backlash that will come from those who voted for it. They thought they got backlash before, they haven’t seen anything yet if their greed and the attempt to corner the market prevent any chance at ending prohibition in Ohio.

    I also wouldn’t put much stake into what Husted claims because he will say anything that will support his agenda. His main goal right now is to convince voters that their vote will not count even if it passes and not to bother wasting their time voting for RO’s amendment.

    But as we have seen here on the TWB and other sites, this is one of the reasons so many activists oppose this bill. It’s not because we want a continuation of prohibition, it’s that a fair and open market creates very little ill will and bad karma. Had RO not limited it to the 10 investors they picked, both bills could pass in November and prohibition would end. Instead, now they have to two run twice the campaigns in order for it to pass. One for supporting their amendment and one against the anti-monopoly. It will be harder to get non-supporters to vote for legalization than it will be to get voters to vote to prevent companies from using a form of monopolies and having it added to the state constitution. This will end up costing RO way more than they ever expected and it was a huge gamble based on the greed and dreams of keeping a potential billion dollar business to their country club of 10 investors.

  8. Scott Dahlstrom on

    I was under the impression that the anti-monopoly initiative would kill the whole amendment, not just the 10 grow sites. In fact, even if it gets fewer votes than RO, but still passes, Husted (Sec of State) claims that it will kill the RO amendment because it takes effect 30 days earlier than the RO amendment.

  9. Scott Dahlstrom on

    It would remain illegal for doctors in IN and KY to recommend it, so those patients would have to find a retail dispensary.

  10. I understand there would be risk to Indiana and Kentucky patients in transporting and even using it, but the quality control, variety, legality of actual purchase, and maybe price would probably outweigh that for some people. I was assuming they would be allowed to purchase in Ohio with a doctor’s recommendation like Ohio residents, and I don’t even know if that’s true, so I spoke too quickly on the subject.

  11. Huntsman smoker on

    Monopoly or not it’s still a victory for the American people. The monopoly can be broken up but repealing the legalization will never happen. Old saying, strike while the irons hot! Still true. Will we ever get the chance again, don’t know. But let’s not need another chance. Let’s vote yes now and appeal later. That’s what our judicial system was made for.

  12. Residents in Kentucky and Indiana would only benefit if they travel to and use cannabis in the state of Ohio. I seriously doubt either Kentucky or Indiana will exempt its residents to use cannabis acquired in Ohio. If anything, I expect even more charges against those people along with trafficking a controlled substance across state lines for patients that travel to Ohio and bring cannabis products back to their home state. In addition, I expect an increase of no-knock raids on those residents in Northern Kentucky and the western borders of Indiana.

  13. If the anti-monopoly bill passes, all it not lost even if the RO proposal passes. The anti-monopoly initiative only prevents monopolies and such from being added to the state Constitution. However, the homegrow option will remain valid since that portion would not be considered a monopoly. So basically RO will have funded something similar to what D.C. did and since RO’s sole motive is to corner the market and get rich for their ten investors, I think it will be an amazing act of karma if both the initiatives pass and the only legalization will be homegrows and possession.

  14. Excellent. The word leapfrog has been used to describe the effect of a RO legalization victory this year. No one expected a state to legalize this year, let alone a relatively conservative big Midwestern state. It would frame the national debate going into next year and push forward the strong efforts being made in Michigan and Missouri, along with likely victories in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Arizona.
    And day after day, always in the background, no reports of cannabis killing anyone in this country while alcohol kills 100’s a day. And also always in the background, the Americans who need medicinal marijuana and can’t access it, who are still the majority of those who need it. One argument for RO that has powerful appeal is the legitimate status it will quickly give to patients who need MMJ in Ohio, and it would help many patients in Indiana and Kentucky as well.
    RO is welcome to their ‘monopoly’ on commercial growing, for a year or two. They deserve that small head start, for pushing reform forward so nicely.

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