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Will Ohio Legalize Marijuana Next Month?


ohio marijuana medical marijuana legalizationBy Phillip Smith

It’s now less than three weeks until Buckeye State voters head to the polls in an off-year election, and they make make Ohio the first Midwestern state to legalize marijuana. A poll this week that asked specifically if respondents supported the initiative on the ballot had 56% saying yes.

They will be voting on Issue 3, a controversial proposal sponsored by ResponsibleOhio that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use, cultivation, and distribution. The measure would establish a 10-grower “monopoly” on commercial marijuana production (but not sales) and allow individuals to grow up to four plants for personal use if they pay a $50 license fee and if they keep the plants hidden from public view.

But despite the favorable poll numbers — even better than the 53% approval of a generic marijuana legalization question in a poll two weeks ago — victory is by no means a sure thing. It is an off-year election with traditionally low voter turnout among groups likely to be supportive, the effort is opposed by the state’s political establishment, and even if it wins, it could be tangled up in court for years because that GOP establishment has placed an initiative on the ballot, Issue 2, specifically designed to invalidate Issue 3. That initiative would bar Issue 3 from taking effect, as a constitutional “monopoly,” and would put similar questions on the ballot when other monopoly or oligopoly measures appear in the future.

If both initiatives pass, state officials say Issue 2 will supersede Issue 3, but other legal experts say it’s not so clear, especially if the legalization initiative wins more votes than the anti-monopoly initiative, which the new poll suggests it could If both pass, legalization will, at best, be delayed until the mess is sorted out in the courts.

With the exception of NORML, national drug reform groups have kept their distance. The NORML board of directors endorsed Issue 3 last month, but neither the Marijuana Policy Project nor the Drug Policy Alliance have, both of which endorse marijuana legalization in general, have made much noits about this initiative.

When it comes to in-state endorsements, ResponsibleOhio looks pretty isolated, with support from the Ohio ACLU, some UFCW locals, and a handful of elected officials, while those taking a stand against the measure include the state Green, Libertarian, and Republican parties, business groups, medical groups, law enforcement groups, children’s advocates, and many state political figures, including Republican Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The initiative has also infuriated many Ohio marijuana activists, who see their years of work going up in smoke in the face of well-heeled investors in ResponsibleOhio, who have generally had little to do with marijuana reform, but who know a money-making opportunity when they see one. By buying into the campaign, those investors have secured their positions controlling the ten designated commercial grows.

“We don’t support the ResponsibleOhio initiative because we don’t believe it achieves the goals of legalization, said Sri Kavuru, president of Ohioans to End Prohibition (OTEP), which is campaigning to get its own initiative on the 2016 ballot. “I testified in favor of the anti-monopoly amendment, and I believe it will pass and get more votes than ResponsibleOhio,” he told the Chronicle in August.

The forthrightly named Citizens Against ResponsibleOhio doesn’t mind siding with the Republican legislature, either, said the group’s leader, Aaron Weaver.

“It is very interesting that all these different parties have come together with the same purpose in mind, to stop the hijacking of our constitution by private interests,” Weaver said. “It’s very strange indeed, but the collaboration of different groups for a mutually beneficial and moral purpose, I think, is a good thing.”

It’s also caused a split in Ohio NORML, with the state group throwing out its former leader, Rob Ryan, over his position in support of the initiative.

But the state’s largest pro-medical marijuana organization, the Ohio Patients Group, endorsed Issue 3 this week. The group said that, given the lack of a viable alternative and the legislature’s refusal to advance the cause, telling its members to vote against the initiative would be doing them a disservice.

“It wasn’t a perfect plan, but politics is never the art of the perfect, it’s the art of possible,” Pardee said.

But when you’ve got money, you don’t need that many friends. In a neat political and financial move, ResponsibleOhio and its chairman, Ian James, are using those investor dollars to finance their campaign advertising. The group has spent $3.1 million so far on TV ads, and has millions more where that came from to get them through the election.

The first ad, “Bring Addy Home,” which began airing in late August, features Heather Benton, who moved to Colorado in order to obtain medical marijuana to treat her four-year-old daughter’s seizures.

“We want to move back to Ohio, but we can’t because her medicine is illegal there,” says the exiled Benton. “It is time for marijuana reform. It is time to go home.”

One of the latest ads takes on the charge from opponents that the initiative would create a monopoly in the state’s Constitution. (Voters did something quite similar back in 2009, when they approved a constitutional initiative allowing a strictly limited number of casinos.). This initiative isn’t a monopoly, the ad argues.

“Like most states that legalized marijuana, it initially limits the number of growers with strict regulation,” a woman says in the ad. “That’s a regulated industry without creating a monopoly.”

Can ResponsibleOhio pull it off? We won’t know until the votes are counted, but if marijuana legalization wins in swing-state Ohio in 2015, that could take the politics of legalization to a whole new level in front of the 2016 general election, where the issue is already likely to be on the ballot in several states — Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada — and maybe more.

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Johnny Green


  1. The Ohio chapter of the NAACP comes out against Issue 3.

    It released a statement Tuesday, Oct. 27, that said it was bad for families.

    The statement went on to say, “Issue three will make a few self-interested investors rich at the expense of the well-being of our children, our families and our communities.”

  2. I believe ALL plants are for our use on this planet. And yeapper..even opium plants ! I believe in total freedom with responsible actions taken from medical prospective. However unlike opioids which has a toxic level.. Cannabis does not cause death. I’m one of those people who are allergic to penicillin and there are many like me, yet there are many who benefit from this drug. Cannabis can be eaten or juiced or smoked and those not everything is meant for everyone, Cannabis is a gift from nature that CAN be a part of many modalities. Besides why can’t one have the freedom to do what they will with their bodies?!

  3. Nice try but you are 100% wrong. You cannot tell anyone with a brain in their heads that smoking pot does not increase the chance of getting in an accident. This is no evidence? Really? What about basic common sense. Comments like yours are why I am voting no on issue 3. Let’s at least be honest about the true facts. Smoking pot does affects ones life way more than responsible alcohol consumption. The vast majority of people who drink do not get drunk. Everyone who smokes pot gets stoned. Besides, people who smoke pot also drink so they are actually doing both which makes it even more dangerous. Legalizing pot will not free up any jail space whatsoever. No one goes to prison for smoking pot in Ohio. This is a fact. Drug dealers who sell pot also sell other drugs so their will still be the same number of drug dealers. This is also a fact. To say pot has no adverse affect on people’s lives is a lie being told to you by pot heads. How many pot heads are highly successful? hardly none is the answer. There are a few but overall hardly none.

  4. You should chill JONTOMAS. I’ve been smokin since 1967, and some of my best friends are from Co and Wa. Try xanax………

  5. and you dont even live in ohio to vote so why are you even on this blog commenting? go back to the mountains you dirty hippie and make your moonshine. never said I didnt smoke was talking about more than half the people that do nowadays their minds wander and they make dumb decisions that makes every Norml casual smoker look bad. Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents. go back into the mountains dirty hippie

  6. Light Weight HUH? LOL been blazin since 1994 & what were you 2 years old then? LOL never said I can’t smoke & focus, more than half the people that smoke now cant handle it and their minds wander and get spaced out that leads to dumb decisions also drop out of school, yea youre a dirty hippie from the mountains in a different state than yours blog talking nonsense. Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents.

  7. A real drug addict loser would say comment that you make , Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents

  8. And you are a burnout junkie dirty hippie marijuana should be medicinal only, “Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents” what do you think of those facts?

  9. look it up dumb dumb marijuana is not for the average persons mind thats why dirty hippies ruin it for the casual Norml smoker, “Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents” that proves marijuana is very potent and should only be for “Medicinal”, the other states that are “Medicinal” only have alot more less issues, Washington & Colorado high school people are already declining in schoolwork and grades also more school suspensions, DeWine already visited there this summer and seen for himself. VOTE YES ON 2 / VOTE NO ON 3

  10. Thank you for this, wasn’t sure how to vote but after reading this I know. I have tried to print your reply above can be printed out but having trouble. tried sharing it on facebook but isn’t showing. (Go figure!) Planning on voting NO on Issue 2 and YES on Issue 3 Again Thank you.

  11. How moronic and false. Fatal accidents have actually gone down in the Free States.

    Marijuana is not alcohol. The preponderance of the research shows marijuana consumption is NOT a significant cause of auto accidents.

    In February, the Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk report, produced by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that while drunken driving dramatically increased the risk of getting into an accident, there was no evidence that using marijuana heightened that risk.
    In fact, after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, the report found that stoned drivers were no more likely to crash than drivers who were not intoxicated at all.

  12. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    Issue 2 EXPLICITLY annuls issue 3 in and the legalization of cannabis. The issue of monopoly is only an act of misdirection. This is the text.

    “If, at the general election held on November 3, 2015, the electors approve a proposed constitutional amendment that conflicts with division (B)(1) of this section with regard to the creation of a monopoly, oligopoly, or CARTEL for the sale, distribution, or other use of any federal SCHEDULE 1 controlled substance … that entire proposed constitutional amendment shall not take effect.”

    In any case the financial backers of Ohio legalized cannabis are entitled to a monopoly for a reasonable period of time so as to recover their investment plus a fair rate of return. This is conceptually the same as copyrights and patents giving artists and inventors a temporary exclusive right to the creation they paid for in cash and time. Really this all should have been done by an act of the state legislature, but because they were derelict of duty a cumbersome safeguard must be used. Issue 2 is a fraud and should be voted down. It seeks to use economic misinformation to defeat legal cannabis in Ohio.

  13. Here’s one of the reasons to not smoke all day long & “RESPONSIBLE” you dirty hippie, since Colorado & Washington legalized between 2010 & 2014 there has been an increase by 92% in fatal vehicle accidents because of junkie hippies smoking & driving not paying attention you dumb dumb.

  14. saynotohypocrisy on

    “This law just penalizes those who have a sincere passion to grow in the market”

    It’s not fair to those people, that’s it’s biggest flaw. But that’s not sufficient reason to pass up this golden opportunity to legalize all personal use, and personal growing, and mandate non-profit sale of medicinal marijuana in a bellweather state like Ohio.The prohibitionist piglets are praying that this loses. You really want to make their day?

  15. saynotohypocrisy on

    “the way that these investors bought a law that may be passed is disgusting”

    Yeah but prohibition is a lot more disgusting, and patients suffering or dying because their medicine is illegal is beyond disgusting, it’s a crime against humanity, and Ohio voters have a chance to say that’s finished in Ohio. And RO investor control of all commercial grow sites isn’t going to last that long, people are learning pretty quickly that cannabis for adults is no big deal, and doesn’t need this level of surveillance
    Free people, then work on free markets.

  16. Guess what? Those anti-trust laws you mention STILL EXIST.
    Now, how exactly do you think the dozens (so far) or hundreds (likely) of growers who will use the ten authorized parcels of land, will be able to violate the Sherman Anti-Trust Act all while under the close scrutiny of both the public – many of whom, like yourself, are chomping at the bit to accuse them of collusion – and the even closer scrutiny of the MCC?
    Issue 3 restricts commercial growing to 13.5 million square feet of land, that is all. For reference, only about 2 million square feet of land is authorized for commercial growing in Oregon.
    Each grower who utilizes the authorized land is required, and able, to get a commercial growing license.


  17. It keepa me emotionally present and clear deals with boredom and the pain from an accident i had as well and chronic migraines from 4-5 yrs old. I can testify, its saved my butt miraculously many a times, the way it sweeps away my pain but leaves me, after becoming adjusted well enough to it and or knowing the right amount to smoke, yet leaves me with really conplete feeling of normalcy, the way otherwise i would not be able to function!!!! I quit for three and a half years and had much more crippling headaches at that time, no question about it. The thing is a natural option for ptsd, depression, cabin fever, appetite loss, (a strong sativa or crystally hybrid, for sleep issues or rough pain heavy indicas. Its reduces aggression and whimsicalnes or hastiness, it allows you to see things with a different twist and as pure as it is these days it frees you up with zero groggy, thats why the opinion across the nation is what it is, because people are seeing what they are seeing, and are compelled, bless them, to speak true to what it is. We all should give it up to people like Woody Harrelson or Jennifer Anniston or Louis Armstrong who were saying this stuff 20 years ago almost. It should be equated with beer because it is found with drinkers, i would argue, more than its found or genuinely outside laws considered to have correlation or relation with heroin, meth crack pcp ecstacy coke. Way doesnt make sense to artificially forcably leave it in that unfitting category, all science shows that its easier on the lungs by far than cigarettes, hat its users are far less likely to be involved in domestic violence in using marijuana. Where is its evil? The reason to leave marijuana in its current status classified as a dangerous drug is, would be that it is a health issue for people, since it really only causes trouble as a criminal issue, its better to admit the mistake of it sooner so as to look less bad and as progressive pioneering leaders, like we showing that we are, #four states and counting. The idea that in 46 states we are still inclined to choose a beer over a vaporizer or bong or marijuana cookie or a joint is ludicrous

  18. No. Issue 3 authorizes home-growing. Further, it’s very likely marijuana arrests – especially for personal amounts – will end immediately after the passage of 3.

  19. How ignorant. – Issue 3 gives everyone the right to home grow.
    Further, even if the state were to grow and sell all the marijuana, similar to states that have state-run liquor stores, that would STILL be great legalization compared to what exists now.
    Issue 3 is MUCH better than state-run, so there’s absolutely no reason to vote against 3 – That is, unless you’re one of the selfish, black-market growers who don’t want ANY legalization.

  20. Mason Leightle on

    The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative is an Ohio initiated constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 3, 2015.
    The measure would legalize the limited sale and use of marijuana
    and create 10 facilities with exclusive commercial rights to grow the

    The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative will
    Allow each person, 21 years of age or older, to, grow, cultivate, use,
    possess, and share up to eight ounces of usable homegrown marijuana plus
    four flowering marijuana plants if the person holds a valid state
    license. Allow each person, 21 years of age or older, to purchase,
    possess, transport, use, and share up to 1 ounce of marijuana for
    recreational use. Authorize the use of medical marijuana by any person,
    regardless of age, who has a certification for a debilitating medical

  21. Closet Warrior on

    I was in a bad car accident and live in West Virginia just 25 minutes accros the bridge and down the road from Meigs county Ohio and we’ve shot down our chances 5yrs in a row just for mmj let alone recreational. Please, if some one our there with some compassion and a little clout wouldn’t hurt. S.O.S. we need a push from surrounding states that are winning the batles and have friend in NORML, legislators and even self interest groups lookin to make a name for themselves both monitarily or politically in Ohio and Pennsylvania-We are your neighbor’s and know we support your struggle. if you guys pass on issue 3 and we vote it down again in 2016- can I come visit you guys lol. But seriously, it’s my cure all from pain to boredom and most every thing that ails ya.

  22. Mason Leightle on

    Don’t listen this Zach Guithues character. The dude doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    “The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative is an Ohio initiated constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 3, 2015.
    The measure would legalize the limited sale and use of marijuana
    and create 10 facilities with exclusive commercial rights to grow the

    The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative
    “Allow each person, 21 years of age or older, to, grow, cultivate, use,
    possess, and share up to eight ounces of usable homegrown marijuana plus
    four flowering marijuana plants if the person holds a valid state
    license. Allow each person, 21 years of age or older, to purchase,
    possess, transport, use, and share up to 1 ounce of marijuana for
    recreational use. Authorize the use of medical marijuana by any person,
    regardless of age, who has a certification for a debilitating medical

  23. Mason Leightle on

    Just like some have said, they’ve talked to their attorney’s I’ve talked to mine. Issue 3 is all or nothing. You can’t vote down the monopoly on Issue 3 using Issue 2 and expect ANY legalization afterwards.
    If you vote YES on 2 and YES on 3, your YES vote on 3 was useless.
    Marijuana Legalization, unfairly, was proposed as a marijuana monopoly on Issue 3. The subsections of that amendment falls under that umbrella of “monopoly”

  24. Mason Leightle on

    I don’t get you..what is your deal?
    what don’t you get
    Issue 3:

    “The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative is an Ohio initiated constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 3, 2015.
    The measure would legalize the limited sale and use of marijuana
    and create 10 facilities with exclusive commercial rights to grow the

  25. Mason Leightle on

    you miss the point. Who can compete with CVS or Home Depot but another Chain? Like Walgreens or Lowes. There must be thousands of CVS or Walgreens in Ohio as there seems to be one or the other on every street corner. Yes that’s a monopoly; big business, limited ownership/partnership, limited competition, cornering the market on specific goods or services. What I am telling you is the facts, it isn’t a matter of opinion. I have lived in many cities and long enough to see all those mom and pop druggists, hardware stores, gas stations close in the last 20-30 years. So much for people caring about the little businesses…lol. In fact I gather you are probably younger than 30 older than 20 and have never seen an independent drug store, or stopped by Tony’s gas station or ever heard of an Ed’s hardware. You think the world we live in with 5 drug store chains, 3-4 major grocery store chains, 7 major gas stations (who buy their fuel from 3 likely refineries) is normal. So you don’t know what a monopoly is.

    And with a statement like “It’s really easy. Issue 3 isn’t legalization!” I hardly even know where to start in explaining things to you. AS part of Issue 3 you can have up to 4 plants of your own, why are you going on about retail stores? it’s people like you that make me worry. you seem to have no clue

  26. the way that these investors bought a law that may be passed is disgusting. The claim that they are not a monopoly is ludicrous, especially when they half wittedly try to dupe us into believing that their chosen investors are given exclusive rights. This law is anti american. Our forefathers fought ceaselessly to combat monopolies, bringing forth the anti trust laws that we enjoy in the free market. The coercive advertisements are lackluster at best. They are trying to invoke a fear that our kids are being sold pot. That is of course true. But…the question is: won’t they have much better access to it when it becomes legal? All the said “dealer” has to do is buy it for them and sell just as before. RO has destroyed the effort to legalize by dividing the user community. We should in fact applaud the illegal growers that put their butts on the line to free us from the constant mexican drug cartel weed that used to be omnipresent. This law just penalizes those who have a sincere passion to grow in the market by making people like Nick Lachey even richer. Like they need more money. Ridiculous! No on 3, Yes on 2!

  27. actually, your assumption couldn’t be further from the truth, not that it’s really any of your fucking business anyway!!!

    I’m not a booster, nor am I associated with RO in any way whatsoever, and to be perfectly honest I don’t really care all that much for the structure of their plan… with that being said, I do believe strongly in legalization and since National NORML is backing this issue I plan on following their recommendation by voting to LEGALIZE!!!

    so my vote will be NO on issue 2… and YES on issue 3 to legalize cannabis in Ohio!!!

  28. Very nicely written. I just wish people not on a marijuana site could read that. Any true marijuana supporter will vote yes on issue 3 and no on issue 2. Why would you offset your own vote by voting yes on both? You either support legalization or you don’t. If this fails we will never see another chance in Ohio again. YES ON ISSUE 3…. NO ON ISSUE 2!!!

  29. Very good point about other industries and this fair equivocation. The structure of this system if voted in, is such that local government is totally on board with it though right. 90% of taxes flowing directly to local governments, which in that, every locality wins, there were 13 mil in tax collected this aug in colorado, since they decided three years ago to go on with ending prohibition and choosing subsequently the route of legally officiously dealing with cannabis (which should is equated with beer , like it is now in colorado and not like it is in backwardsland where its lumped in with needles meth and crack!?) – How much will ohio lose next aug if its voted down, if somehow another nearby state gets there first ohio would theoretically, stand to kick itself in the butt over not showing that pride in ohio as a leader, as being bold and well established enough to do it. Yeah, America number one! How am i wrong and its not like that. Were legalizing weed cause a) we are ahead b) we are the superpower and strong enough on the world stage, we can do it, come on lets jave some dang pride about that!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  30. 2 things; science and opinion. The former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance. Do some more research, Zach.

  31. Scott Dahlstrom on

    You’ll definitely want to go with an indica for the insomnia, but a sativa may be more preferable in the daytime for the depression. And like Steve said, go easy on it. You should have a good effect after 1-2 hits.

  32. saynotohypocrisy on

    There’s already a monopoly on sales of weed in Ohio. Illegal dealers monopolize the sale of weed. Some of them are willing to sell to kids, and maybe not just weed, and to employ kids too.

    Vote no to the nasty power grab by the state legislature with Issue 2, abetted by the Ohio Secretary of State’s treatment of Issue 3. See the excellent analysis just below by Gary Foulks.

  33. saynotohypocrisy and JohnB are right. – You are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Passing Issue 3 is the FASTEST way to get what you, or any marijuana reformer, wants. Reform is a process, not an event.

    Though many naysayers have shouted it, NO reform action gets “cast in stone.” – Issue 3 gets us 90 percent down the road to the ideal legalization. We will continue to refine marijuana policy until it reaches its optimum form, just like we did with alcohol after ending ITS prohibition.

    But first, we have to stop dreaming and take the first steps.

  34. How does someone “smoking all day long” ruin anything for anyone – except possibly themselves.

  35. saynotohypocrisy on

    I don’t think it’s a question of imagination. It’s a question of a long history in Ohio of no other group coming close, and nothing on the horizon to change that. Possession and personal growing made legal, patients to receive their medicine on a non-profit basis, that’s good enough for me, it’s a damn good start.

  36. It’s really easy. Issue 3 isn’t legalization!

    what date am i allowed to have pot in my pocket under issue 3? There isn’t one, because any pot I may have would never be legal under issue 3, only the pot they sell to me in their retail stores, whenever they open. No thanks!

    Also, you seem to have a incorrect definition of Monopoly, CVS isn’t a monopoly, i have a choice in drug stores.

  37. The fact of the matter is the Issue 3 IS NOT LEGALIZATION!

    What date does issue 3 legalize marijuana in your pocket? the answer is: when they start selling it. That means any current smokers can, and will, get in trouble for having pot on them, including getting their license suspended, as issue 3 doesn’t touch the Ohio Revised Code. That also means, that ONLY THEIR RETAIL PURCHASED POT IS LEGAL.


    Legalize, Don’t Monopolize!


  38. Have you been tricked by the corrupt politicians that run our state legislature? Let’s look at the issues.

    Issue 3 is a ballot measure that was initiated by hundreds of thousands of signatures of Ohio citizens who are seeking to end the ridiculous and costly prohibition of cannabis in this state. Why has it taken this long for marijuana legalization to reach the ballot? Well, its quite simple. The people who run the state legislature don’t want it, despite the fact a recent poll showed 90% of Ohioans support marijuana for medical use.

    But why would our legislature – the people we elect – not want to pass something that we, the people of Ohio, want? Well, that’s also pretty simple. The people who run this state make money off prohibition. Our tax money – an estimated 120 million dollars per year – is given out to people who are friends (donors) to the politicians. We are talking private prisons, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, mandatory rehab centers – all who receive millions of our hard earned money to enforce a policy we don’t want. The state legislature also wants to protect other interests that legalized marijuana would take profits from – tobacco, state liquor, and the enormous pain prescription medication market. It’s a pretty basic and corrupt system – they pay the politicians to get them into office, and the politicians return the favor by protecting their interests using government policy.

    So what happened when a marijuana amendment proposed by citizens of Ohio reached the people who run our state? To put it bluntly, they were FURIOUS. You see, the state’s primary problem with Issue 3 is that they receive absolutely zero of our tax money from it. That’s right, Issue 3 is actually designed to take all the revenue received from marijuana taxes and actually dumps it right back into our local communities – schools, law enforcement (against the truly harmful drugs), and infrastructure/repair.

    Why is this so important? Well, it means the corrupt politicians who run our state can’t get a hold of the money to misappropriate it or use it for their own gain. If you haven’t been following Ohio politics recently, I strongly urge you to research Ohio charter schools as well as the absolute gutting of the funding to our local governments for important services. To put it simply, the corrupt Republicans that have a chokehold majority in our state legislature are pushing policies that steal our tax money and give it out to their wealthy friends – all the meanwhile our streets are filled with potholes and our public schools lack proper funding.

    Upon seeing that this new amendment would lock corrupt politicians out of billions of our tax money, the Republicans quickly worked to squash it. It started with Jon Husted, our elected secretary of state, abusing the power of his office to harass the people working on the amendment. Despite the fact that there were hundreds of thousands of signatures of concerned Ohio citizens who care passionately about an issue – Husted and other corrupt politicians completely ignored our concerns, and instead worked diligently to prevent us from ever being able to vote on it. But it doesn’t stop there.

    Fortunately, Husted’s efforts to block our freedom failed and ResponsibleOhio managed to secure the amount of signatures needed, but now the amendment had to be approved by the Ballot Board. The Ballot Board is a group of 5 hand-pointed individuals led by none other than you guessed it, Jon Husted. The language for the amendment that was petitioned for was altered by Husted to fit his agenda to kill it. To start with, he changed the wording of the ballot to include the word “Monopoly” in the title of it. He then moved the word “recreational” further to the front in the title, while moving “medicinal” to the very end, despite the fact that medicinal is one of the key components of the amendment and something the widespread majority of us are passionate about. Not only that, but Husted then worked to bury the entire focus of the amendment.

    For an amendment about the legalization of marijuana, wouldn’t you think the very first sentence on the ballot would be about the legalization of marijuana? Nope, not for Jon Husted! Rather than start with the most important part of the amendment to us and voters – ending prohibition – Jon Husted wants you to see the phrase “endow exclusive rights”. Wait, but this is a legalization amendment we created, right? Well surely the second bullet point is about ending prohibition right? Not for Jon Husted. He feels the second most important thing on the ballot is the creation of retail stores and dispensaries. Huh? Well surely, surely the third bullet point would have it, right? Nope. Jon Husted says the third most important aspect of the amendment is to allow business to create marijuana edibles. You’re kidding right?

    Oh, but it goes on. After Jon Husted butchered and rearranged the wording of the ballot to include his own private interpretation of the word “monopoly” and to bury all the positive aspects from voters, he then quickly got to work crafting his own legislation to kill it. Time wasn’t on his side though. He and the other corrupt Republicans in the state legislature began drafting the absolute mess that is now Issue 2.

    Issue 2 is a ballot initiative created by Husted and other Republicans that control the state legislature (I know, shocking right?). Husted did not ask the Ohio people for Issue 2. There was no deliberation, there were no signatures from Ohio citizens in favor of it, there was no discussion of it with us about it. Husted and the corrupt league of Republicans who don’t want to lose their iron grip on this state rushed the sloppily written Issue 2 in less than 2 weeks. Think about that. And with absolutely zero bipartisanship (go read who the supporters who passed it through are).

    Wait, so if our marijuana amendment was created first, why does Husted get to list his amendment before it? Pay attention now because this is where it gets good. Husted disguised Issue 2 as an “anti-monopoly” amendment. But it is everything EXCEPT an anti-monopoly amendment. Issue 2 does nothing to break up or get rid of all of the established monopolies we have in our society. Remember all those private prisons? How about your electric company? What about your cable internet provider? What about gasoline? What about the Casino monopoly already in our constitution? It does absolutely nothing to them. ZERO. It’s not retroactive. How can something be an “anti-monopoly” amendment if it doesn’t do anything to existing monopolies? Sound suspicious?

    But here’s the brilliance of it all. Husted is trying to trick you. Husted wants you to see the phrase “anti-monopoly”, a term universally everyone would agree with as positive, right before you see the words “grants a monopoly” on the following measure, a term people would naturally not feel good about. This is why he snuck his own bill into slot 2 of the ballot, while moving the people’s amendment back to slot 3.

    Are you starting to understand how absolutely ridiculous this is all starting to sound? Think about it for a second. This is an elected official. A person supposed to be working for us and who is supposed to be fair and objective. Using the power of his office to thwart the efforts of citizens to vote on a measure they deem important. Moving a few words around here, burying a few words over there. All to make one amendment he supports look good, while making the other that he opposes look bad. That’s not democracy, folks. That’s called conflict of interest.

    So what does Issue 2 actually do then if it does nothing to existing monopolies? What Husted has crafted is actually one of the most deceptive and disgusting things I have ever witnessed. Issue 2 is a vote to take away your right to vote. That’s right people. November 3rd, you are being asked in Issue 2 to hand over your power to vote in ballot initiatives like in Issue 3 over to the ballot board, the hand-appointed group Jon Husted controls.

    The way it works is that Husted and his cronies drafted an amendment so vague that they could apply its wording and the concept of “monopoly” to any issue that we (the people) want to put into motion. It would only take 3 people (3!) bought-out politicians to dismantle any future ballot initiatives (including marijuana legalization), forcing them into 2 parts with the same ridiculous “do you want a monopoly?” questions plastered all over them that are innately designed to fail, not unlike the changes he personally made to Issue 3.

    But more importantly, read this, listed near the bottom: “Prohibit from taking effect any proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot that creates a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for the sale, distribution, or other use of any federal Schedule I controlled substance.”

    Wait, so if Issue 2 is going to block my vote on Issue 3, then why isn’t it in the title of the ballot? Why is it hidden near the bottom? Why would you ask me if I want an “anti-monopoly” bill, which sounds great, if all it does is take away my voter freedom and nullify my vote on another issue? The simple answer: Jon Husted is trying to trick you. He has designed this entire ballot to trick you. His “monopoly” smear campaign is to trick you. He wants you to look at Issue 2 and go “ooooo” that sounds lovely. And then he wants you to look at the wording of Issue 3 and go “ewww” that doesn’t sound as good. He doesn’t want you to think or actually debate the positives of Issues 3. Go ahead, ask him. He’s intentionally trying to confuse voters and derail what we, the people, have worked decades trying to reform.

    And that, my friends, is why you need to do research. Husted and the corrupt Republicans are pulling a last ditch effort to take away your right to vote, steal your tax money, and cement prohibition permanently in this state so he and his friends can profit. If Issue 3 fails, there will never be legalization of marijuana in Ohio before federal. The next time an initiative comes around (and note: there are no other initiatives anywhere even close to making the ballot), you can bet that there is going to be a MASSIVE campaign against it by all the rich Ohioans profiting off prohibition, backed up by all the shady dealings we’ve seen this year by their state cronies.

    Read both amendments. Do your research. Research Jon Husted. Research Jon Husted and voter suppression. Research the corrupt Republicans that are solely backing Issue 2. They are trying to distract you. Ignore the background noise. They are screaming at you, monopoly monopoly monopoly! Don’t look at the benefits, just look at the word monopoly! Don’t look at the tax money your communities will get, monopoly! Don’t worry about sick kids, monopoly! Don’t worry about your freedoms as an adult, monopoly! Don’t worry about giving up your right to vote, monopoly!

    This is way too crucial of a turning point in our state’s history to be fooled. They are trying to get us to work against each other. They don’t want legalization. They want your tax money to continue fueling their private jets instead of putting it back into the community. Look at the facts. Issue 3 will END PROHIBITION. Permanently. They will never be able to touch it again. Issue 3 will generate insane tax reveneue that the state can’t steal. It takes money AWAY from drug dealers, the corrupt politicians, and harmful big Pharma med and gives it back to us. Issue 3 will provide care for sick children, cancer patients and veterans with PTSD, which we as Ohioans all agree on. Tourism in Ohio will BOOM and bring tons of money into the state. Thousands upon thousands of new, well-paying jobs. The ability to open new and successful businesses. Medicinal research and innovation. Our economy will THRIVE.

    But our current politicians don’t want any of those things. And they don’t want you to think about it either. They want you to succumb to the status quo, to fight with each other, they want more years of prohibition and harmful state policy. Think about it. A no vote means Ohio will get _NOTHING_. Have you been tricked by Husted and his friends? Do your research, people.

    Realize that if Ohio says no in 2015 to legalization, our corrupt state politicians will use it as precedent that “Ohio isn’t ready” and continue to stifle us with prohibition. It will also continue inaction by the Federal government. Your “no” vote in 2015 will be interpreted and used against you in ALL future legalization debates whether you intend it to or not as a “no” for marijuana being legalized at all. And don’t be fooled – the opposition to legalization next time will be intense and furious, with practically endless funding by our existing monopolies that don’t want a thriving marijuana industry cutting into their profits.

    But if Ohio goes green, national marijuana legalization will be at the forefront of the 2016 elections, pushing our nation forward and forcing our president to finally address the issues.

    We’ve waited over 20 years in Ohio for this moment. This is the single most important vote of our generation. We are sick of the inaction and corruption by our state legislatures. Don’t be fooled. Research. Ask questions. Think for yourself.

    Vote Yes on 3 if you want to end this ridiculous prohibition today and move Ohio forward into a bright and exciting new future. Vote No on 2 to protect your right to vote.

    ‪#‎Yeson3‬ ‪#‎Noon2‬

  39. In any movements.. Progress is slow but forward. No the initial momentum might be all what you want but it has your foot in the door, AT LEAST we of the Cannabis Community Won’t Criminals! By and by the bugs can and will be worked out but for “starters” ,the confidence that you can blow ya joints and not have a Cop harsh your buzz with imprisonment.. Fabulous!

  40. No ONE is claiming there “is no other way to do it.”
    We’re simply saying that the choice before us is simple: legalize with this initiative, or wait, while prohibition continues, until something better comes along.
    If you lived in Ohio, you would have ridden this roller coaster before; we have had grass roots efforts get our hopes up year after year, only to fall abysmally short.
    As far as “McDonaldization” goes, well, you better get used to that. Consolidation is already under way in Colorado, and will eventually affect the entire cannabis market.
    The future of cannabis reform is legalization through commercialization.
    You can figure out how to let that work for you, or you can rage against the machine.

  41. That seems to be the consensus among attorneys I have asked about the question, Issue 3 is all-or-nothing; the court can’t step in later and say part of it passes, but part of it doesn’t.
    Similarly, they agree that issue 2, because it takes effect before issue 3, would trump issue 3, even if 3 got more votes.

    No matter what: vote NO on 2.
    Yes on 3.

  42. It’s not that way in Oregon. If you only see the way the things are, and not the way things can be, you’re always going to be a step behind, because the world is constantly changing. Most of those changes are out of our direct control, and initiative petitions are one of the few examples of direct democracy, where we can directly affect the law, and the kind of system that will be put in place. If you think all that Ohio deserves is giant conglomerates producing your weed for you, so be it, it’s your state. But don’t blame me for your lack of imagination and say there’s no other way to do it.

  43. Marijuana is my tin man oil and the cleaner it is has become, and really I mean organic soil and natural organic fertilizer green, its pure and certainly contains fewer side effects than most health minded or inebriation minded ‘drugs’. Hopefully these companies will be inclined to stay free from crappy overkill fertilizers. I heard ph balanced water and coconut water in good dirt works fine.

  44. Every adult deserves safe, legal access to marijuana for personal use, for whatever reason they see fit.

  45. 9AM Monday morning the White House Comment line opens up.
    Call them as soon as you can.
    Ask that the President Remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 immediately.
    Call them every day and ask everyone you know to call every day until they do it.
    The life you save may be your own, or that of someone you love.

  46. This year 1.6 MILLION Americans will be diagnosed with Cancer.
    Half of them will eventually die of it, after suffering pain beyond human description.
    This weekend, like every other one, over 3000 Americans died of Cancer.
    In fact, every single minute, yet another American dies of Cancer.
    Every Cancer patient deserves safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.
    Every. Single. One.

  47. Yes Jamie smoke one or two puffs not a whole bowl or joint at once you have to pace yourself throughout the day. people that ruin it for everyone else are the ones smoking all day long.

  48. From the RO initiative (link from secretary of state’s office here: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/ballotboard/2015/2015-03-13-petition.pdf ), bottom of page 15:
    “All provisions of this section…are severable, and, except where otherwise indicated in the text, shall supersede all conflicting state and local laws, charters and regulations or other provisions of this constitution.” In case you didn’t know, severability means that if one portion of the amendment is thrown out, the rest can stand (i.e., the unconstitutional / conflicting part can be severed from the rest of the law). Also note that it states it will supersede all conflicting provisions in the Ohio Constitution.
    Obviously, Issue 2 says otherwise, so they’re in direct conflict, so the courts will decide.
    Your defeatist attitude if RO’s initiative doesn’t pass (really, NEVER?) suggests to me that you’re probably a booster of theirs, if not directly involved in their campaign.

  49. i smoked hybrid weed for the first time and was super paranoid any suggestions on new strains to try I’m a newbie at this and need it for depression and insomnia so i was going to do indica but idk why i enjoy sativa more idk

  50. your assumption is completely wrong, the issue cannot be separated into separate parts, which means that the whole amendment with not take effect if issue 2 passes, and legalization will become almost impossible to get on the ballot here in Ohio… if issue 3 is defeated legalization will never come to Ohio

  51. Mason Leightle on

    Evolution I’d call it. It stands a chance if people ignore this monopoly b.s. and VOTE NO on 2 YES on 3.

  52. Mason Leightle on

    look, I am glad you asked this question. Because this is pissing me off, I am not mad at you personally, but there’s some confusion about this. People think somehow that if they vote YES on issue 2 against the monopoly, and YES on 3 that there still stands a chance we will have some form of marijuana legalization afterwards.

    If you vote YES on 2, there will be no marijuana legalization at all and your YES Vote on 3 doesn’t matter.

    Issue 3, the marijuana monopoly,and limited grow-opps is the measure. Everything underneath in bullet points is dependent on Issue 3 passing.

    You’ve got to ignore monopoly altogether. If you want legalization vote YES on 3 and NO on 2. there is not other alternative legislation or plan B.

  53. Mason Leightle on

    CVS and Home Depot have eliminated hundreds of thousands of small independent privately own businesses, and the era of local druggists and hardware stores ended at least 2 decades ago. I hardly think one more Chrony scheme should matter and this vitriol over rich people making money, is just stupid…lol..
    until this gets sorted out at the federal level, I agree there should be limited grow opps. Too much to risk

    And I don’t care what people call it. A regulated industry, and marijuana growing should be regulated, is not a monopoly.

    NO on Issue 2, YES on Issue 3

  54. Mason Leightle on

    I believe in God too, but don’t let this stop you from getting to work in the trenches. You need to make people understand that a YES Vote on 2 will negate their YES Vote on 3. The exact wording on the ballot supports what I am saying to you.
    On a sample ballot, look at the following example
    Issue 2/Issue 3
    translates to YES/NO

    Make sure people Vote NO on Issue 2 and Vote YES on Issue 3. there is no other way

  55. Mason Leightle on

    How could any of these other groups that support legalization be against Issue 3? I totally am on board with legalization, and I totally support limited grow-opps, and regulations and it being taxed. Who else but someone with cash would be able set up secure labs, secure facilities for growing, pay to put the measure on the ballot in the first place, pay for all the legal fees for attorneys who are going to have to deal with local, city, state and federal government law enforcement agencies until legalization occurs at the federal level?

    Enough this waiting for the perfect bill or the perfect circumstances. It’s almost too friggin ironic. No one complains that Home Depot, CVS, Cinemark, Sheetz and similar franchises have cornered the market on their type of service, and as a result shut down hundreds of thousands of independent privately run businesses across the country, and all the sudden people care about monopolies? I can’t help laughing or crying or thinking people are so stupid or something.

    I don’t think everyone should be able to grow pot for profit…it’s like alcohol and tobacco or acetone. It should be regulated, should be taxed and kept out the hands of most people until this is sorted out federally. That isn’t a monopoly. CVS and Home Depot are monopolies. The manufacturing of firearms, tobacco, alcohol and hopefully pot are regulated industries, therefore it can’t be a monopoly.
    do not vote Yes on Issue 2 and Yes on Issue 3. If you do you are negating your Yes vote on 3

    Vote as instructed below and you can’t go wrong
    NO on Issue 2!! YES on Issue 3.

  56. darthhillbilly on

    Legalization as an end to prohibition is, in my book, preferable to any more days of non-Violent offenders being locked up with rapists, wife beaters, murderers robbers, and pedophiles. YES ON 3! FEEL THE BERN!

  57. Vote YES on 3!

    ANY form of Marijuana Legalization is far superior to the continued prohibition of marijuana and criminalization of marijuana consumers.

    When this passes the average citizen will be able to LEGALLY purchase marijuana and grow up to 4 plants LEGALLY at home.

    That’s far better than continued marijuana prohibition.

    Only when enough states Legalize Marijuana (perhaps half) will enough pressure be brought to bear upon the federal government that they will be left with no other choice but to listen to The Will Of The People and remove marijuana from the controlled substances lists and Legalize Nationwide at the federal level.

    Legalize Nationwide! By Supporting Each State’s Marijuana Legalization Initiatives.

    Don’t let the prohibitionists scare us away from Legalizing Marijuana in Ohio with their ridiculous scare-tactics and oh so dreaded “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Marijuana.

    Vote YES! on 3

  58. “Monopoly” implies just one. This is not a “monopoly”. “Monopoly” is the battle cry and excuse used by desperate prohibitionists who will use ANY excuse to keep marijuana completely illegal and of disgruntled would-be growers who can’t profit on marijuana under this measure.

    In truth, this measure provides over 1000 differently and privately owned stores, and the option to home grow your own marijuana.

    How is that a “monopoly”? It just isn’t.

    Vote YES! on 3

    The average citizen and end consumer DOES NOT care who profits as long as marijuana consumption is legalized.

    The ONLY people against this measure are:

    1) Disgruntled would-be growers and sellers who are excluded from profiting under this measure.

    2) Desperate, angry, bitter prohibitionists who will use ANY excuse to keep marijuana illegal.

    Why would the average citizens and end consumers care who profits as long as marijuana consumption is legalized?

  59. saynotohypocrisy on

    The Libertarians blew it. “There is nothing ‘responsible’ about Responsible Ohio,” said LPO Political Director Tricia Sprankle. “This isn’t a proposal to restore rights to Ohioans. It’s a crony scheme to line the pockets of a few wealthy investors.”

    Oh course it’s a proposal to restore rights. Yes, it’s also a crony scheme. But how many more years are the Ohio Libertarians willing to see seriously ill patients go without their medication. There’s nothing else in sight in Ohio to restore our rights, not even for medicinal use. Patients can’t wait, their human rights are being trampled on, and Ohio Libertarians’ message to them is, that’s your problem.

  60. Anyone find it strange that constitutional rights of the cannabis community are voted
    what gives any hate group the right to vote away our rights in the first place?

    imprison the high treasonous warmongers
    end of problem

  61. You blithely disregard that Issue 3 FREES marijuana consumers and worry that “big money [is] able to shut out smaller players.”

    Look around and see what country you live in. Big money ALWAYS gets to shut out the smaller players. – That’s capitalism and the American way.

    If you want to change our economic system to some other form, great, let’s start. But it will likely take a century to do so. – Don’t even attempt to put that challenge on the back of marijuana reform.

    As if reform didn’t have enough obstacles without adding that near impossible dream to it.

  62. Sorry, but this seems like a hit piece for the growers and against consumers. From the article:

    >>>”those taking a stand against the measure include the state Green, Libertarian, and Republican parties, business groups, medical groups, law enforcement groups, children’s advocates, and many state political figures, including Republican Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine.”

    Really? The attorney general, law enforcement and the Republican parties? – Is this supposed to be some kind of surprise? These are traditional, hard-core opponents that profit from the war on marijuana consumers.

    And the Green Party was caught up in the bogus “outrage” in the beginning, but after they cooled off and thought about it, they changed to SUPPORT Issue 3.

    That’s what everyone should do. Greedy, Ohio black-market growers, most of whom don’t want ANY legalization, have really pulled a fast one on many in the reform movement.

  63. If court decides not to throw out the whole initiative, yes. It may depend on which issue gets more votes. Since the initiatives directly conflict, there’s no way to know until it goes to court.

  64. If the pro-monopoly part of the initiative is thrown out by the court, will the personal possession provision still stand?

  65. I’m really glad I don’t live in Ohio. The more I read about each side of the debate, the more I believe there isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” side, or at least there’s a lot of wrongness on both sides. The Citizens Against Responsible Ohio leader seems like a hardcore libertarian weirdo (anyone who has to constantly capitalize “Free Market” is probably a little too infatuated with Ayn Rand). The Republican legislature is of course terrible, and is really misleading with their Issue 2, which claims to be against all “monopolies,” but instead of 1) singling out the oligopoly provisions and 2) applying to ANY past, present, or future initiative that would create a monopoly / oligopoly, it applies to Issue 3 ONLY and attempts to invalidate the whole initiative instead of just stripping out the bad parts.
    RO misleads too. Their claim of “well, other states limit the number of growers too” intentionally misses the point of people’s objections, which don’t hinge on the fact that there’s only 10 growers, but that the initiative spells out who the growers will be! Whereas in other states potential growers go through a qualification process, which is an infinitely fairer way to go about things. This model, if it passes, would set a precedent for a “McDonaldization” of the marijuana economy, with big money able to shut out smaller players and the activist community. The activist community without which none of us could be discussing the prospect of legalization as anything other than a distant wish.
    I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote. Every Ohio voter will have to weigh the immediate benefit of access to marijuana against the possible damage that such a model could do to future cannabis laws locally, nationally, and around the world.

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