Ohio 2nd ballot issue may derail marijuana

Aims to prevent use the state constitution to sanction monopolies

COLUMBUS —The Ohio House voted 81-12 on Wednesday to put a question before voters that could undercut a marijuana-legalization measure that will appear on the same Nov. 3 ballot.

The lawmakers’ ballot proposal is aimed at derailing the marijuana-legalization proposal, along with other future attempts to use the state constitution to sanction monopolies.

“The people’s constitution should never, ever be a shopping center for market opportunities,” said Rep. Mike Curtin (D., Columbus), one of the resolution’s chief sponsors. “It is no exaggeration to call this a grave threat to our state constitution.”


Legal marijuana sparks liability fears for Colorado employers

DENVER, Colorado - Marijuana legalization in Colorado put business owners like Dottie Peterson in a quandary.

Peterson doesn't want workers at the staffing service she operates to use marijuana on the job, though she doesn't mind if they do it in their free time. But she can't hire drug users because of her insurance. Many companies, including hers, get better worker's compensation insurance rates by being a drug-free workplace, so the new employees she hires must pass drug tests.


Here's how $20M is being spent in push to legalize marijuana in Ohio

An estimated $7.1 million would be spent on television and radio commercials in an effort…

A prospectus designed to persuade deep-pocketed Cincinnatians to back a $20 million campaign to legalize marijuana suggests their return on investment might not be limited to pot farms in Ohio.

If the marijuana proposal makes it onto the Nov. 3 ballot and is approved by voters, the investors might try to replicate the effort in other states, suggests the prospectus circulated last year by Ian James, CEO of the ResponsibleOhio political action committee.


Ohio investor: Legal marijuana could be $100B industry, big issue in 2016

Ten groups are betting millions that legalizing recreational marijuana in Ohio could net them billions in the long run.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In this perennial swing state, a fascinating political experiment is unfolding this year.

A group of wealthy investors is betting tens of millions of dollars on a ballot initiative that could net them billions if Buckeye State voters decide this November to legalize marijuana – in a very particular way.


Legalizing marijuana not so 'Responsible'

I have been closely following all of the articles about legalization of marijuana and how the group, ResponsibleOhio, was started. I have only read one letter to the editor from a concerned Ohio resident about the increased probability of mental illness developing among users.According to the National Institutes of Health, "Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, with approximately 5 millions of daily users worldwide.

Emerging evidence supports a number of associations between cannabis and psychosis/psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia."A program from National Geographic stated an actual percentage of those who will experience psychosis: 50 percent of all marijuana users will experience psychosis.


Ohio Marijuana Campaign's Voter Registrations Are Being Questioned

The ResponsibleOhio campaign seeks to legalize marijuana for adults in Ohio. The campaign has received a lot of criticism because it only allows ten entities to grow marijuana for profit if the initiative passes. The initiative didn’t have a home grow provision at first, but a provision was added to allow home grow after the campaign received a lot of feedback. I know that a lot of orgs and prominent activists have came out publicly opposing the initiative, while others have refrained from opposing it, but haven’t issued an endorsement yet. To be fair, I haven’t seen any organization or prominent activist that has opposed the measure step up and promise to bring a better initiative in the future, complete with language polling and sufficient funding.


How an Ohio Ballot Measure Could Create a Marijuana Monopoly

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thousands of hastily scribbled signatures fill boxes in the basement of Ian James’ 7,800-square-foot restored Victorian home in the historic Franklin Park neighborhood. James needs these names to win a place on Ohio’s November ballot for a measure to legalize medical and recreational marijuana.

But the political consultant isn’t just gathering the signatures. He came up with the idea for the measure. And he recruited a lawyer to draft a constitutional amendment that would put Ohio’s future marijuana market in the hands of only 10 growers — an arrangement that critics are calling a monopoly.

Meanwhile, he plans to pay his own firm nearly $6 million to run the campaign.


Ohio: What you need to know about marijuana initiative

Do you support marijuana legalization in Ohio? Scroll to the bottom and vote in our poll.

On a cold day in January 2014, political strategist Ian James rode the elevator with two lawyers to the 11th floor of the Scripps Center to arrive at the office of a Cincinnati wheeler-dealer. The four men sat down, made some small talk. Then James took a deep breath and made his pitch for an Ohio revolution.

"I had not met Jimmy Gould before," James recalled, "so I just asked if he were interested in the legalization of marijuana for personal use or for medical use. I didn't know how this was going to go over. But no sooner had the words come out of my mouth, Jimmy said, 'I'm in.' "


Ohio businesses capitalize on legal marijuana industry

JOHNSTOWN, Ohio -- Andy Joseph didn't seek the marijuana industry -- it found him.

The Navy veteran and father of five began building botanical oil extraction systems from his home northeast of Columbus while working as an engineering director for a manufacturing company. The systems were made to extract essential oils and natural flavorings from plants such as lavender, spearmint and peppers.

But entrepreneurs in California found another use for Joseph's machines -- extracting chemicals from marijuana that could be used in hundreds of products. Joseph's business grew as more states legalized marijuana, leading him to quit his job in 2012 to run Apeks Supercritical out of a 2,000-square-foot pole barn in his backyard.


Ohio Politics Now: Can lawmakers block a marijuana monopoly?

Here’s a look at what is happening in Ohio government and politics:

Ohio lawmakers want to block a proposed marijuana monopoly and other monopolies from being written into the Constitution.

“The plan rolled out Tuesday was backed by top legislative leaders, but critics said that it may go too far in trying to derail the fast-moving marijuana plan engineered by ResponsibleOhio,” Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson writes.


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