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Did 'greed' sabotage Ohio legalization initiative?

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

leafVoters in Ohio on Nov. 3 rejected a proposal to legalize medical and recreational use of cannabis. Issue 3 would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow regulated quantities, and also made cannabis available for medical use in the same vote—a unique approach nationally. It would additionally have permitted retail sale of cannabis-infused products, and created a "Marijuana Control Commission" to oversee the industry. Complicating matters, the Ohio General Assembly put a competing initiative on the ballot, Issue 2, which would have blocked Issue 3 by prohibiting the granting of special rights by the state constitution. This "anti-monopoly measure" was aimed at barring Issue 3 language that would establish exclusive rights to produce cannabis for the retail market. If both had passed, a legal quagmire loomed. In the actual fact, Issue 2 was approved while Issue 3 was defeated by over 63% of voters. (Jurist, Nov. 4; WLWT, Cincinnnati, Nov. 3; NYT, Nov. 1)

Activist Jon Gettman flatly blamed ResponsibleOhio, the group pushing Issue 3, for setting up a deeply flawed initiative that was actually designed as a "cynical ploy" to establish a "marijuana monopoly" in Ohio. He wrote in High Times: "Issue 3 was a selfish and greedy attempt to exploit marijuana legalization for personal gain on the part of the financial backers of ResponsibleOhio, and opposition from marijuana consumers, High Times, and a broad spectrum of legalization supporters stopped this foolish initiative from hijacking the reform movement."

Gettman also blasts "the incredibly stupid idea to use a life-size plush mascot named Buddie to publicize the initiative, supposedly on the premise that it would attract attention and support from college students." Not exactly the image conveyed by the name ResponsibleOhio.

Image: Jurist


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