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ResponsibleOhio Marijuana Legalization Investor Has Business Raided As Part Of Fraud Investigation

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ohio marijuana medical marijuana legalizationThe ResponsibleOhio campaign has had a lot of bad PR since the campaign started. The main outrage came from a lack of home cultivation provision in the initiative’s language, and the fact that cultivation for profit would be given to just ten entities. The campaign revamped the initiative’s language to allow a home cultivation provision, but the initiative still only allows ten entities to grow marijuana for profit should the initiative become law. There is an attempt right now in Ohio’s Legislature to ban such monopolies in Ohio, which would effectively derail the initiative.

Something else that may derail the initiative is a recent raid this week against one of the investors for ResponsibleOhio. The FBI raided Evans Landscaping, owned by Douglas Evans, which is one of the ten entities that would be granted a growers license if ResponsibleOhio passed. Below is more information about the raid, via Cincinnati.Com:

The landscaping company raided by FBI agents Tuesday morning is enmeshed in a lawsuit alleging fraud involving a contract with a minority-owned business on public projects.

The lawsuit claims Evans Landscaping is at the heart of a “malicious civil conspiracy” regarding contracts with both the state of Ohio and the city of Cincinnati. The suit alleges Evans Landscaping officials improperly took public money meant for a minority-owned contractor. Evans Landscaping has also sued, claiming lack of payment from that contractor.

The FBI would not say why it raided Evans Landscaping.

At this point, I don’t think that anyone knows for sure why the raid occurred. Yes, there has been talk about it being a fraud investigation, but how Evans Landscaping fits into that investigation is not clear. But, regardless, I think that a lot of PR damage was done with the raid. The initiative was already looked upon by many with suspicion, and having one of the ten entities that would get in on the marijuana-for-profit monopoly in Ohio raided as part of a fraud investigation can’t help, no matter how the company is tied into the investigation. Opponents of the initiative, from outside and within the marijuana community, will now point to this incident over and over as a reason to not trust the campaign.

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39 Comments

  1. There is no wedge whatsoever, and there doesn’t need to be a false dichotomy. It’s not an either-or proposition; there is no reason at all people can’t vote yes for both RO this year, just in case, and yes for OTEP next year, if they actually get on the ballot.
    A yes vote for one now takes nothing away from the other later.

  2. If you’re talking about OTEP being “funded and organized,” I sure wish you’d show us some objective evidence.
    Where can one go to sign their petition?
    The website has said, for about two months now, that “we will begin gathering petition signatures in a few weeks.”
    I wish OTEP all the luck in the world, but they don’t seem, so far, to be organized enough to even update their website with this critical bit of information.

  3. more fear mongering from an RO shill. Ohio’s free market plan in 2016 is funded and organized. We DO have options thanks

  4. HmmmSaysDavidHume on

    Uh, nice try at sophistry but I have been an ardent supporter of legalization for some 25 years now. I will not support, under any circumstances, any bill that seizes a state constitution for the creation of a cartel, or otherwise restricts free market economics. This applies to any group and any issue. I am unwavering in this principle.

    Is that clear enough for you?

  5. Evans is a landscaping company, true, but they are also very heavily into demolition, especially of blighted, abandoned properties in Cincinnati, and heavy equipment support for major civil engineering projects.

  6. You guessed it familyguy, I’m a huge drug dealer that’s terrified RO is going to put me out of business. Why is that the only argument you RO people have when someone is against this monopoly you want?? You’ll be the first one crying if these clowns get their monopoly and start charging 400.00oz. This is terrible legislation and the only people that support it are either to stoned to care or are paid by RO, I’m guessing your not bright enough to care. Also, it’s “mere drug peddler” not “mire drug peddler” you must be stoned.

  7. What’s it to you unless you are selling in the black market and you seem to be interested only for yourself and not really caring of other Ohioans. Just stay out of it. It is obvious that you are not an investor but a mire drug peddler.

  8. An interesting thought, but the feds are allowing commercial growing in other states, and those exclusive licenses aren’t going to last that long, they’re offensive to a wide range of people, and the legislature can put a constitutional amendment undoing them on the ballot at will, and a commission set up by the governor can also authorize additional growers, so I see them exploiting their cartel as much as they can while they can.

  9. It doesn’t seem that the politicians like RO better than any other legalization proposal, they are trying to pull a scam to derail it, changing the rules in the middle of the game.

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