Ohio Legislature Strikes Back Against Marijuana 
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Ohio Legislature Strikes Back Against Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on July 02, 2015 at 05:00:06 PT
By Liz Essley Whyte
Source: Time
Ohio -- A campaign to legalize marijuana in Ohio took a step closer to making November’s ballot Tuesday, after its promoters turned in more than twice the required number of signatures.But the measure will face competition at the polls. Ohio legislators also approved their own ballot measure on Tuesday to undermine the pot plan, which lawmakers worried would amount to a “marijuana monopoly” because of its provision that only 10 growers would control the wholesale pot market.
The lawmakers’ measure would block other measures that benefit select economic interest groups.The marijuana ballot measure campaign, dubbed Responsible Ohio, is just one of many ballot measures in recent history that are designed to benefit their backers. The companies funding the Responsible Ohio campaign would control — and likely profit from — the marijuana growth sites should the measure pass.As detailed by the Center for Public Integrity, the campaign’s director, Democratic activist Ian James, came up with the idea and is planning to pay his own firm $5.6 million to push the ballot initiative.Ohio Rep. Mike Curtin, a Democrat, said he sponsored the anti-monopoly measure because he opposes the way Responsible Ohio is using the citizen-initiated constitutional amendment, not because he opposes pot legalization.“Are we going to allow a small group of investors, who have literally no background in drug policy… to carve themselves a special niche in our state’s founding document?” he said. “To me it’s galling. It’s nauseating.”But James said voters should have the right to decide the issue.“Some statehouse politicians believe the voters are smart enough to elect them, but they aren’t smart enough to decide ballot issues like marijuana legalization,” he said in an earlier statement.James’ group still has to wait for the Secretary of State to determine if enough of its signatures are valid to make the ballot, which could take several weeks. It submitted 695,273 signatures to the state, far more than the 305,591 registered voters it needs to qualify.If voters approve both of the conflicting measures, Ohio law says whichever gets the most votes would win.But Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, recently said that if both passed, the legislatively referred anti-monopoly measure would block Responsible Ohio’s plan because citizen-initiated measures take 30 days to go into effect.The issue could end up before a judge.If both pass, “we have a very interesting court fight on our hands,” Curtin said.This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on the influence of money in politics or follow it on Twitter.Source: Time Magazine (US)Author: Liz Essley Whyte, Center for Public IntegrityPublished: July 1, 2015Copyright: 2015 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by Oleg the Tumor on July 10, 2015 at 08:35:52 PT
I cannot support this approach . . .
If the issue passes, it will be slapped down by court action faster than you can get the words "Sherman Anti-trust Act" out of your mouth.If the issue doesn't pass, the ignoid trolls will have a field day.I am not sure which is more discouraging - The proposal to create a potentially illegal monopoly to fight a legal monopoly (instead of pursuing reform) or the response from our so-called representatives to oppose the point of the initiative (and ignore our petition) with an equally absurd proposal to exclude us from addressing the question straight on (instead pursuing reform).The Cleveland City flag should read, "Wait 'till Next Year!"This is the first election I've ever missed on purpose. Sad.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on July 06, 2015 at 07:51:38 PT
I understand that.With all that's going on now in some states... I try to imagine the freedom and what they are experiencing.Kind of makes me feel a little giddy and giggly to imagine walking into one of those stores and making a purchase and having and consuming cannabis and it NOT being criminal... or having the knowledge that a horrible man with a gun and wearing armor might hit you out of the dark like a linebacker from hell and take you down because you have an illegal herb. Yes. It would be great to live it, that freedom, here in Texas. I expect to experience it. Hoping, anyway.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 05, 2015 at 18:38:52 PT
What would be nice is seeing things slowly happen in our states like those that have legalized. Being able to go to an Expo and walk into a shop would be beyond my dreams. I thought it wouldn't happen in my lifetime but it just might. 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on July 05, 2015 at 16:00:17 PT
This moment...
Someone, somewhere is dreaming up a scheme to complicate matters even more.Wow. I could not foresee this a couple or three decades ago... but it's gotten clearer and plainer as we've watched it happening. Cameras. Tags. Licenses and fees out the kazoo. Everyone wants a piece of it. It's kind of amazing to see, in the scheme of things. But no. I did not foresee it. I couldn't imagine how it would go even back then when I tried. But it's pretty amazing to see. I'd like to see how well Texas could handle legalization.My, oh, my. I think it will be a fine thing. People will feel happy. They will feel liberated. I think it will be a good thing. A very good thing.And the sky will not fall. Hopefully.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 05, 2015 at 15:47:52 PT
It's amazing how complicated
this is all being made.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 05, 2015 at 09:23:21 PT
In time the prices will drop too I think.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 05, 2015 at 09:21:36 PT
I will probably vote for it. We have had marijuana decriminalized since the 70s so it isn't a big issue in our area of Ohio. Maybe in the cities. From everything I have seen in states that have legalized the wealthy investors win. That is how capitalism works. If a family can grow 4 big plants outside that is a good beginning. If they restrict it to inside that isn't good at all.
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on July 05, 2015 at 08:23:20 PT
comment 7
You are correct. It is a dilemma. It could be a mess if too many prohibitionist have a hand in writing the rules. I wish Ohio the best. 
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Comment #7 posted by schmeff on July 04, 2015 at 08:41:08 PT
Comment #6
I'm concerned that the good folks of Ohio will be so eager to access legal cannabis that they will indeed accept a "flawed" plan that puts the same people in charge of 'legal' cannabis who have previously been busy caging pot consumers. Whether the rules can be "tweaked" later remains to be seen, since the rules would at that point be enshrined in Ohio's constitution.Does it make ANY sense to have "legal" cannabis controlled by a private cartel that considers cannabis consumers to be "the bad guys"?
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on July 04, 2015 at 08:12:04 PT
I suppose a flawed legalization is better than no legalization. It puts that state in the legalized group no matter what, and adds to the national legalization momentum. The legalization rules can be tweaked later after the excitement settles down. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 03, 2015 at 07:51:46 PT
I think it's one of those state constitutional things. Of course, I think Colorado's law is, too. I was thinking the amendments to the constitution that these initiatives sometimes make might be harder to change. And then there was that thing about what the legislature has done, too.We've been at this thing so long now, I'm aging, and my brain is, too. And what with the convoluted routes politics can sometimes take... my brain doesn't always navigate those sharp corners and switch backs like it used to. :)Should have used more weed!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 03, 2015 at 04:46:14 PT
We will probably vote for it. It is far from perfect but it will evolve over time. They got over 700,000 signatures.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on July 02, 2015 at 16:29:47 PT
That's what I was planning to ask you on this thread. What do you think? It is confusing. I think maybe it's supposed to be.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 02, 2015 at 14:36:31 PT
I am totally confused about what we are going to vote on this November.
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Comment #1 posted by schmeff on July 02, 2015 at 09:06:22 PT
The Usual Suspects
If the people who brought us cannabis prohibition are in charge of implementing cannabis "legalization", we are in deep grass."Citizen-initiated measures take 30 days to go into effect." Legislative measures take place immediately. Put another way, the will of the "masters" takes priority over the will of the people. It's tragic how we've allowed the plutocrats to steal our democracy. 
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