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Ohio Is Likely To Vote On Marijuana Legalization This November

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Responsible Ohio LogoAccording to multiple reports out of Ohio, the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization initiative is going to make the ballot in 2015. ResponsibleOhio fell short of the required signatures by the original deadline, but Ohio law permits a 10 extension for one last push. Responsible Ohio needed 29,509 valid signatures in order to make the ballot, and turned in 95,572 at the end of ten day period. In most cases it would have just been assumed that the signature amount would have been enough, but due to a record low signature validation rate for marijuana legalization signature gathering efforts, no one was certain. The campaign needed a roughly 31% validation rate, and appears to have made that goal. Per WBNS-10TV:

The legalization of marijuana will be on the November ballot, according to preliminary reports of valid signatures sent by Ohio’s county board of election offices.

With 48 counties out of 88 reporting their preliminary totals, a 10TV survey reveals ResponsibleOhio will exceed the number of required signatures.

The initiative will not be officially on the ballot until Ohio’s Secretary of State says so, which is expected by the end of the week. If that proves to be the case, Ohio will get a chance to be the fifth state (and D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana. As with every other marijuana legalization initiative that has ever made the ballot (assuming it does, which I think is safe to say at this point), ResponsibleOhio’s initiative is not without it’s controversy. I’m sure most readers know by now about the ‘ten for profit entities only’ provision of the initiative, which obviously stinks. But is that enough to allow people to be arrested for two more years until maybe, hopefully another initiative gets polling, language, and funding in place?

I have a lot of questions right now about Ohio. Will any national reform organizations step up and support the campaign? Does the campaign care enough to court national reform organizations? Should organizations and prominent activists even support the campaign? Should they organize their own effort for 2016? If that’s the plan, where has everyone been for so long because after all, no other marijuana legalization effort got on the ballot, so why would it in two short years? Is ResponsibleOhio the best model that Ohio voters will approve, for better or worse? If not, what does the model look like? I could go on and on. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.

I’d love to hear from Ohio voters for and against the initiative. I live in Oregon, a state that I feel has the best legalization law in the country. I love the freedom that Oregon’s legalization law brings but with that being said, I feel bad for weighing in too much on the Ohio initiative simply because I don’t live there. I’m not an Ohio voter. I don’t know what the political climate is in Ohio. I do know the level of support that Ohio has received in the past from big cannabis reform funders and organizations, and it hasn’t been exactly a fantastic track record, which is obviously unacceptable. Will ResponsibleOhio win in November? Who knows at this point. I’d like to see some more recent polling, which hopefully is coming out soon.

One thing that I will say right now is that I hope that if this 2015 initiative fails, that everyone puts their money where their mouth is for the next effort. And if people don’t have money, they better step up in some other way to help the citizens of Ohio. I believe that an initiative can definitely pass in Ohio, and Ohio cannabis consumers deserve to be free from cannabis prohibition. If people want to criticize ResponsibleOhio’s model, that’s fine. If people want to vote for ResponsibleOhio’s model, that’s fine. But what is not fine is if people try to tear each other apart, and then abandon the effort and leave Ohio cannabis consumers behind. If this is the best Ohio can get, so be it, and if it’s not, then even if ResponsibleOhio wins, organizations and activists need to step up and improve on the law. If people think that they can do better, do it. Don’t talk about ‘well if I had the money from the investors, I’d blah blah blah.’ Those investors are not investing in your initiative. They obviously invested in this initiative because they want to make money. Don’t worry about what they are doing so much as worrying about what you’re doing.

If you don’t like the initiative, campaign against it, but in a way that allows you to keep friends after the election is over. I hate seeing long time relationships getting ruined because of politics, cannabis or otherwise. We live in a free country where you can think what you want, and vote how you want. That’s a democracy, and we live with the results for better or worse. If people want to vote for it and it becomes law, then that’s the reality of the situation. Believe me, I was very, very upset after the 2012 election when Oregon didn’t legalize and missed the opportunity to be one of the first states to do so, like it has in other areas of reform. But instead of pout and try to tear others down around me, I got active. I started working towards the 2014 election with other activists the very next day, and even though we won in Oregon in 2014, there’s still a ton of work to be done. When Ohio eventually legalizes, the same will be true for Ohio, whether if it’s this initiative or another. Reform is never perfect, and it’s never completely done until legalization becomes equalization. Keep fighting and doing whatever you can do when you can do it to support reform!

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133 Comments

  1. TheBrownHornet on

    I never charged you with anything, especially racism. You may have been just a little too quick to align yourself with JohnB’s comments.

    “Obama rode one good speech and a wave of white guilt and black racism to office the first time. It had nothing to do with grassroots; it had to do with him being a media darling.The second time was pure impetus.
    You don’t think there was a carefully orchestrated, well funded political campaign behind him both times??”
    – JohnB

    jontomas (RESPONDING TO) JohnB • 5 days ago
    “That’s closely related to my view of Obama. I voted for him out of the hope that being the first Black president, he would also try to be the best president. – But no. He’s old school, work for the rich, bomb the world into submission dinosaur spawn. – I’m giving him some grudging approval of his latest marijuana reform door openings, though.”
    – jontomas

    You jumped in to agree with JohnB.

    I asked the question based on your agreement with HIS statement.

    “So what’s you reason for voting for Obama? White guilt or Black, LOL, racism.”
    -TheBrownHornet

    REMEMBER WHO BROUGHT RACISM INTO THIS DISCUSSION.

    Does your Black wife know you use her to prove you are not a racist? Is that racist?

  2. FREE DELISI**….and on top of it FREE DELISI FREE DELISI….so strange and sad what is STILL happening to this man, the faster every state legalized the faster he gets released (try Google)

  3. Their putting up the money to get the job done. End of story. Ohio gov pulled out the big guns to fight. ..you dont think there doing the same to anyone else in the future? Your mistaken…YES RO COULD HAVE BEEN WAY BETTER but its what we have to work with until NATIONAL REFORM…no grassroots effort will pass on the east coast, look at Michigan(not east coast) next year 3 groups on ballot, and in their polls THE BIG MONEY is surpassing the others…oh so do you think dc was grass roots nah….FREE DELISEY in Florida will only get out if money investors step in, no grassroots will pass it there…. Pennsylvania big money investors…I can go on and on

  4. In their amendment it states that the 10 grow sites are NOT aloud to compete for raising prices (the 7 ppl the GOVERNOR appts) controls this and only supply and demand controls price

  5. The acting governor (who is against legalization) appoints 7 members to a MJ commission(NOT RO) (just like alcohol) and they have the right to close any large grow entity for any reason (not up to standards) and ADD more grow entities to the magic 10…

  6. How many college students lose their scholarship over a damn 20 sack? How many kids does it take to suffer from seizures to get it threw everyone’s thick skull? Let’s pass RO and I guarantee us the people will fight for their 10 grow site reform…once it is LEGAL more people that are closet smokers/advocates will come out…some are to scared because of they way it looks in the public view or their job…RO will be forced to change how commercial growing will go because us the people will change them….the government isvery ccorrupt and there adding these measures to block RO so next year you think their just going to let OTEP roll threw? I THINK NOT AND IF YOU DO WAKE UP!!! Lets pass ro and then fight them instead of fighting the government…RO has some serious money to fight the government..everyone wants to complain cartel this cartel that…guess what no other group has this money power to fight the government’s control because ohio will do anytging to keep prohibition ( obviously because there proposal is one of the worst in prohibition history)…PLEASE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THERE IS TO MANY SICK CHILDREN…LET ALONE PEOPLE THAT NEED LEGAL MEDICINE NOW, NOT NEXT YEAR….but once they pass us citizens will give them the chance to helo us out or were banding together with more force then now…dont believe me just wait if this passes, just wait until u see this legal how many new advocates come out!!

  7. TheBrownHornet on

    It appears out major divide is what the government CAN do versus what they WILL do. The government does have absolute control. The government has already made a move like this against our most important citizens, farmers. If you are inclined, please read up on Monsanto, RoundUp Ready Soybeans, & the SCOTUS. The precedent established is almost perverse.

  8. TheBrownHornet on

    The question of how each and every Ohio government agency will tax that $125 is everything. As stated earlier, that’s a about $5 per gram wholesale. If when it’s all said and done the final retail price is at $15 per gram, you are back at black market retail prices. In this instance the black market continues, not to avoid being caught, but to avoid paying taxes. Can someone please walk me through how a legal retailer goes from $5 wholesale to under $15 retail and turns a profit? I have been crunching the numbers based on what is know from the Ohio proposal and filling in some of the unknowns from Colorado & Oregon. I can’t make it work, can someone please help me? Seriously.

  9. TheBrownHornet on

    When will the dust settle? Average quality is “Reggie”. High quality is everything else. RO will be selling high quality.

  10. TheBrownHornet on

    I’m a free marketeer. Watch like minded individuals like myself stops this thing dead in its tracks. Again. you have the numbers, so there is no debate. Your millions will overwhelm any opposition to the current proposal.

  11. TheBrownHornet on

    I represent those that believe in a free market. Nothing more, nothing less. If you have millions on your side, OK. It sounds like you have the numbers to change any and everything. If I’m wrong, I’m sure I’ll be mowed right over. If I’m not?

  12. TheBrownHornet on

    You are missing my point. The police do what they want, not because of Cannabis laws, but because of an ingrained culture almost free of accountability. Take Cannabis away, and it becomes something else. Seat belts seem to be a favorite of police. It’s just like trading slavery for Jim Crow. New ways to do the same old things. My point is the harassment and ransacking will continue, just with different catalysts. The only way to change things is to get rid of judges that let this B.S. fly. Stop patting a cop on the back, or even better, scolding cops, for jail filling but ineffective arrests and all the B.S. goes away almost instantly.

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