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Ohio: Fears Of Marijuana Monopoly Undercut Support For Legalization Measure

OhioLegalizeMarijuanaMonopoly[CannabisTherapySolutions]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If a ballot measure says "legalization" on it, it's always good, right? RIGHT? Maybe not.

A proposal that could this November make Ohio the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana is drawing some unusual opposition -- and it's coming from residents who support legalizing marijuana, reports Lewis Wallace at NPR.

Lots of liberals and old hippies don't like the monopoly aspect of the referendum. Samantha Van Ness, 25, said that while she's all for legalizing cannabis, she's dead set against the amendment that will be on November's ballot.

"I would rather take the minor misdemeanor fine than let someone have such a massive monopoly in my state," she said. And that's reflected statewide among many who have problems with the initiative and with the group, ResponsibleOhio, that's pushing it.

One of the biggest reasons why is that the initiative specifies just 10 locations in the state where growing marijuana would be allowed. And, guess what? Ten groups of investors already have those sites locked down, ladies and gentlemen.

Those same investors -- surprise, surprise! -- are sinking $20 million into the campaign to make sure their massively profitable monopoly comes to pass. "So in essence," reports NPR, "they are paying to try to amend the Ohio Constitution to grant themselves pot growing rights."

Ohio: Group Close To Getting Legalization On Ballot; Accused Of Sabotaging Grassroots Effort

OhioMarijuanaLeaf

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The group ResponsibleOhio claims it is more than halfway towards its goal of getting marijuana legalization on the state ballot. But advocates trying to put a rival initiative on the November 5 ballot have accused founders of the well-financed ResponsibleOhio of sabotaging its smaller, weaker competitor last year before launching its own effort.

"We have over 160,000 signatures," said Ian James of ResponsibleOhio, reports Elizabeth Faugl at ABC 6. "By the end of this week, we'll have over 200,000. We are shooting for over 700,000 signatures."

But in an April 14 complaint to the Ohio Elections Commission, Ohio Rights Group said the people who went on to create ResponsibleOnhio infiltrated the ORG to get information and talk potential donors out of making contributions, reports Anne Saker at the Cincinnati Enquirer. The complaint accuses Ian James and David Bruno of promising help to ORG then using the knowledge gained to form their own group.

According to the complaint, Bruno used his childhood friendship with ORG Executive Director John Pardee to gain knowledge, and Bruno was taking consultant's fees from ORG while planning ResponsibleOhio.

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