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What If ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Initiative Passes But The Anti-Monopoly Amendment Also Passes?

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Responsible Ohio LogoOhio voters will see marijuana legalization on the 2015 ballot. The legalization initiative, which was put on the ballot by the ResponsibleOhio campaign, would legalize the possession and cultivation of marijuana for all adults over 21 in Ohio, and would grant the exclusive right to grow marijuana for profit to ten entities. That last provision has caused quite a bit of controversy, and was what inspired House Joint Joint Resolution 4, which was introduced by Reps. Ryan Smith, a Bidwell Republican, and Mike Curtin, a Columbus-area Democrat. House Resolution 4 would prohibit the ResponsibleOhio business model. That resolution is going to also be on the 2015 ballot in Ohio.

So what happens if both items pass on Election Day 2015 in Ohio? There seems to be conflicting opinions. On one hand you have people claiming that whichever proposal gets more votes becomes law. That seems simple enough. However, others are pointing out that citizen initiatives take 30 days to become law, whereas legislative referrals take effect immediately. So those same people are saying that Joint House Resolution 4 would trump the legalization initiative because it takes effect first. Per Cleveland.Com:

The Ohio Constitution says if two conflicting amendments on the same ballot pass, the one that gets the most votes becomes law. But the constitution also says citizen-initiated amendments, such as the marijuana legalization amendment, become law 30 days after an election while legislature-sponsored amendments become law immediately.

Ohio’s chief election official, Secretary of State Jon Husted, says it’s clear: The amendment seeking to block the marijuana plan would prevail because it would take effect first.

But marijuana legalization backers who disagree with Husted’s interpretation would likely challenge it in the Ohio Supreme Court, leaving the ultimate decision in the hands of the justices.

Both sides have an argument to make, and both sides seem to be technically right. So there’s no way to know how it will end up until a decision is eventually rendered by the Ohio Supreme Court, assuming that both pass. I haven’t seen any polling recently for the initiative or the resolution, which hopefully will happen soon. Do you live in Ohio? How do you plan on voting, both on the initiative and the resolution?

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  • Matt

    The bill does not completely legalise it. It’s puts limits on the amount you can possess, the amount you can grow with a permit and prohibits private sale. Currently all of these except cultivation are minor mistominers thanks to decriminalisation. RO undoes this and turns them into felonies. It puts marijuana in a weird place between legal and illegal and police will abuse this to make up for the money lost by legalisation by charging higher fines for the felony charges. All to protect the RO monopoly. Just to point out how ridiculous this is. Give your friend a dollar to take a few hits on his joint and you just committed a felony under RO

  • Ed Hunt

    No, it means they’ve voted against poor legislation. That’s all.

  • J C Uncapher

    no, we’re not nuts Gary, you are… first of all RO’s plan is clearly NOT a monopoly, and if you bothered to look up the word in the dictionary, you would know that!!! just calling it a monopoly doesn’t actually make it one!!!

    for you or anyone else concerned about this situation to actually put all your faith in the tiny hope that OTEP or any other initiative will actually make it on the 2016 ballot… well I say good luck with that fantasy Gary, cause none of them have ever been able to do it in the past and I don’t believe they have what is needed to do it in the future either!!!

    I live in the real world and I believe strongly that the past speaks loudly and clearly about just how successful all these other initiatives have been and will continue to be in the future at attempting to get an issue on the ballot, they just don’t have what it takes!!!

    I, like a lot of other people I know, plan on taking the advice of Ohio NORML Vice President Rob Ryan, by voting YES to RO’s obviously shitty proposal (because it is a small step in the right direction), NO to HJR4 anti-monopoly, and if by some slim chance OTEP does actually manage to make it on the 2016 ballot, I will gladly vote for their plan… but in the meantime “WE” will work on changing the RO plan once it is passed in November, in order to make it a better plan for the citizens of Ohio!!!

    the following is a quote from Rob Ryan, Vice President of Ohio NORML:

    “I had an extremely interesting conversation with State Senator Seitz about HJR4 today. The sentence diagram and logic is correct. HJR4 will kill RO and OTEP since they all specify a Tax rate. It is simple; vote NO on HJR4, vote YES on RO and if OTEP is on the ballot in 2016 vote YES.”

  • Gary

    Are you guys nuts. Wait till 2016 and vote for that pot legistraton. Then anyone can grow and make money not just the investors in responsible ohio. Stop their monopoly.

  • J C Uncapher

    exactly, that wording would not be in HJR4, and it would also apply to the Casino monopoly that passed back in 2009, but they want to keep gambling because they don’t have a problem with it like they do marijuana/cannabis!!!

  • Huntsman smoker

    Absolutely correct! This is about shutting us up completely, not just now but in the future too. It’s underhanded to do it like this because the legislature waited for HJR4 to gain some traction before changing it, so as to trick us into voting it into law, that way they could say they had nothing to do with it and that the citizens voted it in on our own accord. Dirty mother fuckers. They just want to keep prohibition to line their own pockets. It’s fucking PATHETIC that some people profit from others going to jail, and then putting people in jail for absolute bullshit. Im not a bible thumper,but it does warn of ill gotten gains in there. It’s just flat out wrong. I don’t believe in terrorism by any means, but with this kind of bullshit, it’s no wonder why other countries want us dead, beacause Americans don’t even try to hide their corruption anymore, it’s out there plain as day just spewing out of their fucking mouths. In my personal opinion ANYONE who tries this shit should get life in prison without parole for trying to profit off of taking someone’s freedom from them. There is another word for that and it’s illegal, it’s called SLAVERY!!!!

  • metalbuoy

    Im from eastern Pennsylvania and cant wait for a state east if the Mississippi to actually allow recreational marijuana. Ohio gets my money as soon as this happens! Pennsylvania gets none… which is another reason I see other states follow suit.

    Alcohol is for drunken losers
    tobacco is for cancer lovers

  • JohnB

    Ohio’s legislators find constitutionally enshrined economic interests to be extremely offensive – so much so that they have come up with their own constitutional amendment to prohibit them.

    Unless, of course, such monopolies ALREADY exist, then, well, they are apparently just fine:

    “SCHEDULE
    Division (B)(1) of Section 1e of Article II of the Constitution of the
    State of Ohio, as amended by this proposal, does not apply to any provision
    of the Constitution of the State of Ohio in effect prior to the effective date of
    that amendment.”

    If this were really about anti-monopolies, and not about trying to kill legalization of cannabis, then there would be no reason whatsoever to include this final bit of HJR4.

  • JohnB

    This is directly from the legislature’s page on the amendment, the actual text of the amendment.
    General Assembly: 131
    Short Title: Proposing to amend Section 1e of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to prohibit an initiated constitutional amendment that would grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specify or determine a tax rate, or confer a commercial interest, right, or license to any person or nonpublic entity. [ Hide Long Title ]
    Long Title: Proposing to amend Section 1e of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to prohibit an initiated constitutional amendment that would grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specify or determine a tax rate, or confer a commercial interest, right, or license to any person or nonpublic entity.

    Notice that both versions specifically prohibit specifying or determining a tax rate.

    Please tell me of any constitutional amendment or other legislation that doesn’t also specify a tax to fund said legislation.

    Any future voter-initiated legislation that has any economic component whatsoever is therefore made illegal by HJR4.

    I’m glad you think that’s a good idea, Ed.

  • JohnB

    Please, Ed, show us the text from ballot issue 3 (RO) that nullifies Ohio’s current decriminalization laws.

    For those who don’t already know the answer Ed is going to not find, issue 3 does NOT remove any existing decrimnalization laws; it simply ADDS a few new ones, which allow commercial growing and selling, and homegrowing and possession.

  • Huntsman smoker

    I mean seriously, who the hell would trade legalization for decriminalization? That sounds dumber than a bag of hammers!

  • Huntsman smoker

    My thoughts exactly. I just hope we have enough time to spread the truth.

  • John Robinson

    Vote No on HJR4 are government is a cartel our government is a monopoly wake up and vote yes to RO then in 2016 vote for a better plan

  • J C Uncapher

    the key here is “specifies a tax rate”, OTEP and all the other initiatives also “specify a tax rate”, which means that HJR4 not only stops RO from becoming law, but it will also kill all the other initiatives as well

  • J C Uncapher

    don’t waste your breath on Ed, he obviously has a vested interest in making sure legalization fails… he’s either in law enforcement, works in the legal system, works for the prison system, or is in the pharmaceutical industry

  • J C Uncapher

    so what’s your point Ed, do you have a hard-on for Rob Ryan? or are you just trying to seem intelligent with your statement?

    Rob was removed as the President of the Ohio NORML chapter, however he is currently Vice President of the exact same chapter… and just because someone makes a mistake, that doesn’t make them a liar, I trust what he say’s… regardless, I checked it out for myself and the other quote was from someone else that did the same and came to the exact same conclusion, and it has been verified by several lawyers that have also read the document

  • Huntsman smoker

    Unless I’m mistaken, legalization is better than decriminalization, so I’m failing to understand your point. Please explain why that would make a difference.

  • Ed Hunt

    RO would UNMAKE the decriminalization laws we’ve had since the 70’s! It’s a safety net against the uninformed voters!!!!

  • Huntsman smoker

    All people who want legalization in Ohio, post the TRUTH on all social media outlets, (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) VOTE NO on HJR4. Yes on RO.

  • Huntsman smoker

    By the way, anybody not clear on this, just google HJR4 and its there clear as day , black and white.

  • Huntsman smoker

    Why insult anybody here? We all want our right to vote on our laws, whether we are up to your educational standards makes no difference. If you believe in democracy then surely you agree. I read HJR4 and it will nullify Responsible Ohio Initiative. HJR4 does not say that it will nullify a particular section but will nullify the “initiated amendment”. That is what RO is , an initiated amendment. This in will mean that if HJR4 passes, that the citizens of Ohio will have willingly voted away some of their own constitutional rights. Why would ANYBODY want that?! I’ll tell you why, it’s a power struggle between the establishment and the citizens, and the citizens are being played for fools. VOTE NO ON HJR4!!!!!!

  • Ed Hunt

    Ummm, sunlight and a lock on an atrium door?still pull 9 out of ONE plant and be a FELON

  • Ed Hunt

    They call us Prohibitionists too lol

  • Ed Hunt

    Tax rate on a PROPERTY, nothing at all about a product. Keep grasping strawman, maybe someone will buy it.
    Section 1e. (A) The powers defined herein as the “initiative” and
    “referendum” shall not be used to pass a law authorizing any classification
    of property for the purpose of levying different rates of taxation thereon or
    of authorizing the levy of any single tax on land or land values or land sites
    at a higher rate or by a different rule than is or may be applied to
    improvements thereon or to personal property.

  • Huntsman smoker

    ATTENTION!!! Ok here it is so there is no confusion. HJR4 is ” A proposal to amend Ohio Constitution to prohibit an initiated constitutional amendment (Responsible Ohio) that would grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specify a tax rate, which Rsponsible Ohio does specify. In short, whether you care about the monopoly or not, Responsible Ohio is the ONLY POSSIBLE way to legalize marijauna on Ohio. Period. HJR4 will make responsible Ohio illegal. DO NOT VOTE YES FOR HJR4. Thank you J C for the heads up. We have until November 3rd to spread the word. This isn’t just about the marijauna now, it’s giving up some of our democratic rights and that CANNOT happen!

  • Ed Hunt

    Section 1e. (A) The powers defined herein as the “initiative” and
    “referendum” shall not be used to pass a law authorizing any classification
    of property for the purpose of levying different rates of taxation thereon or
    of authorizing the levy of any single tax on land or land values or land sites
    at a higher rate or by a different rule than is or may be applied to
    improvements thereon or to personal property.
    I see NOTHING of the sort; only perversion of property taxation rates at properties, Not taxation of PRODUCTS. Drink more of that koolaid, and enjoy NOT getting your store Mr Berling