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Ohio Marijuana Campaign’s Voter Registrations Are Being Questioned

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ohio marijuanaThe 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.

I will be the first to admit that the initiative is far from perfect. There are certainly provisions that I don’t like. However, I don’t like every provision of prohibition, and I have always said that I will support any effort that moves us away from prohibition. I will obviously continue to push for better legalization models, but I don’t think that just because an initiative isn’t perfect that it should be instantly condemned until a perfect one comes along in the future, if at all.

The Ohio campaign experienced a setback this week when the Ohio Secretary of State told election officials to heavily scrutinize voter registrations that were gathered by a company the campaign hired. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Ohio’s secretary of state told election officials to scrutinize new voter registrations submitted by a group pushing a marijuana legalization measure in the state, accusing a company hired to gather signatures of “sloppiness” and potentially fraudulent activity.

Jon Husted, the secretary of state, said he’s received reports that submissions by The Strategy Network contained non-existent addresses, illegible signatures and underage registrants, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Associated Press.

The Strategy Network is collecting signatures for ResponsibleOhio’s campaign to legalize medical and recreational cannabis.

ResponsibleOhio head Ian James said he’s received no indication from Husted’s office that any problems existed and that he’s “flummoxed” by the announcement, the AP reported. The group said it’s gathered more than 550,000 signatures, well over what’s needed to get its legalization proposal on the ballot.

I don’t live in Ohio, so I leave the decision to vote for or against the Ohio initiative to the citizens of that state. I of course live in Oregon, where marijuana is about to be legal starting next month. Measure 91 received a lot of scrutiny when it was on the ballot, and there are still people out there that wish it had never passed. But it was clearly better than prohibition, and so I voted for it.

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192 Comments

  1. For stoners yes nothing else matters but having pot. For American citizens who are concerned with their communities’ economic development there are major issues with RO’s plan.

    Also if you enjoy quality product their is a huuuuuuge problem with their initiative.

    Personally as an Ohioan I wouldn’t like to see the homeless epidemic that has troubled many states that have allowed recreational use.

  2. This isn’t about ideology, this is about stopping a Monopoly. What you’re trying to say is Kroger’s should be able to push a constitutional amendment saying they should be the only ones allowed to sell groceries in Ohio. The whole thing is absurd.

  3. Don’t worry, I certainly wont’ change my mind. Even though you’ve mostly been a dbag, I’m going to put all else aside and just say “I caution you on this”, I know that doesn’t mean dick shit to you but at least I said it.

  4. I hope you and any would-be investors in retail cannabis continue to think this way.

  5. The “savvy” investor would see this dog has fleas and stay the hell away from it. I don’t behoove you for wanting your little dispensary, but if you can’t grow there’s no point. The numbers they are throwing around are all hypothetical, it’s not like this is a franchise with historical data to look at. I would never bet my lively hood on 10 people that control a monopoly. You have no idea what your prices are going to actually be and from what I’ve seen they are quite a bit more than what you can currently get it for.

  6. Actually, I did have the opportunity to monopolize about 5 years when the government passed a certain set of regulations that affected what I do. Instead of going that route, I reached out to 3 of my competitors, all from other other states to see if they would be interested in working together. Without going into detail, The 4 of us saved the niche industry we are in for everyone. By us 4 working together we not only saved ourselves but also 15 other competitors that invested ZERO.

    Having a monopoly, in my opinion wasn’t/isn’t good for the business or any business in general. Yes I could have been the only one doing what we do, but what good would that have done? We’re a niche market and having competitors helps to drive awareness and innovation. Monopolies do nothing but foster mediocrity and complacency, neither of which are good for the customer or the business.

    So, no, I have no interest in owning a Monopoly and I still make a hell of a lot of money.

  7. I bet if there were a way for the business you say you own to get a monopoly, you’d be all over it.
    Or, are you trying to tell me that you would forego greater profits in order to be true to your ideals?

  8. And idealists in other states will get up in arms just as the idealists here in Ohio are up in arms, but the tidal wave that is legalization-by-commercialization will roll on, especially in those states with constitutional amendment processes such as Ohio.
    Meanwhile, the savvy investor will spend their time figuring out how to profit from the movement, rather than swimming upstream against it.

  9. What evidence do you have, other than the comments by three or four individuals on this blog, that “RO is losing support?”
    The evidence to the contrary is that nearly 600,000 Ohio voters have signed their petition.
    Even if some of those signatures turn out to be invalid – as they always do in petition drives – that’s still an awful lot of support.

    OTEP is NOT approved yet; it has only cleared the Attorney general. It still has to clear the Secretary of State before it can begin collecting signatures.
    Do you have any evidence that is likely?

    The evidence to the contrary is that OTEP’s proposal contains at least three different legal issues.
    To clear the SoS, it must contain only one.

    Tell me again, please; when will OTEP be on the ballot?

    “Should be” isn’t good enough, since we already have one that “is.”

    I’m not trying to give you a hard time; I just want people to decide based on facts and logic, not wishful thinking.

    I’d love to see OTEP get on the ballot, but until they figure out that they can’t go after everything bad about prohibition all at once, they will fail.

  10. Dan Frybarger on

    RO is loosing support due to its one sided issues. Otep is approved and has a year to collect the necessary signatures. It is what the people want.

  11. Ecstatic? Not this consumer. Ecstatic about paying $300+ an ounce for something that costs less than 10% of that to produce? It’s the producers who would have reason to be ecstatic.

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