Ohioans Mull Marijuana Legalization
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Ohioans Mull Marijuana Legalization');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Ohioans Mull Marijuana Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on November 01, 2015 at 05:48:05 PT
By Jim Provance, Blade Columbus Bureau Chief
Source: Toledo Blade
Columbus -- Two issues on this week’s ballot stand alone, but the fate of one may depend on the other. Ohio is about to make a historic decision on Issue 3. Should the state become the first east of Colorado to legalize marijuana for recreational, medical, and commercial purposes?But state voters also have a decision to make on Issue 2. Should private individuals have the right to etch their own commercial monopolies into the Ohio Constitution? If Issue 2 passes, the marijuana legalization amendment may never take effect, even if voters support it.
Issue 3 is spearheaded by ResponsibleOhio, an organization that has reported spending more than $15 million from investors behind 10 preselected wholesale growth and cultivation facilities to promote the issue. One of those growing sites would be on a North Toledo farm.“After 20 years of state politicians refusing to reform marijuana laws to help the chronically ill, they spent 10 days this summer to put Issue 2 on the ballot to stop medical marijuana from being legalized,” said Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio.“They’ve done it in the worst possible way,” he said. “It takes away the rights of voters to put issues on the ballot that they want to vote on. They’re giving themselves more control over the process and voters less control.”But state Rep. Mike Curtin (D., Columbus), one of the sponsors of the resolution that put Issue 2 on the ballot, said now is the time for Ohioans to take a stand against the writing of lucrative, exclusive financial deals into the state constitution. He noted 19 other states have anti-monopoly provisions in their constitutions.“The barbarians are at the gate,” he said. “The proposal now known as Issue 3 is for an investor-driven market that, by their own prospectus, would create a $1 billion per year sales industry for 10 landowners and their backers. It’s as audacious and outrageous a proposal as this state has ever seen.”Issue 3 is about more than medical marijuana. It would legalize the personal use of pot for anyone over the age of 21 and allow them to possess and transport up to an ounce for their own use. They could get licenses to grow up to four flowering plants and keep up to 8 ounces of homegrown stash.Pot could be used by anyone of any age to treat a debilitating medical condition as long as that person has a certificate signed by a licensed physician. The state would regulate nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.The amendment would build a new wholesale and retail business infrastructure around the newly legal product, create a state regulatory system, and set up five marijuana-testing facilities, including one at an unspecified Wood County location.Wholesale marijuana sales would be taxed at the rate of 15 percent, while pot and other products made from it sold at potentially 1,100 licensed retail outlets would be taxed at 5 percent, in addition to existing state and local taxes. Most of the tax revenue would go to local governments.Issue 2, on the other hand, is a legislative reaction to Issue 3 as well as the 2009 amendment that wrote four exclusive casinos, including Toledo’s Hollywood Casino, into the constitution.Issue 2 wouldn’t prohibit such citizen-initiated monopolies outright, but it would make backers jump through more hoops to get there. Backers would first have to get voters to waive the monopoly prohibition and then get them to approve their specific monopoly in a separate question on the same ballot.The constitution states that if two conflicting amendments on the same ballot pass, the one getting more votes “shall” prevail.Secretary of State Jon Husted and some others, however, have argued that, since amendments proposed by the General Assembly take effect immediately upon passage, Issue 2 would automatically negate Issue 3, a citizen-initiated marijuana amendment, before it could take effect 30 days later.Either way, the final decision could rest with the Ohio Supreme Court, which has already upheld Mr. Husted’s use of the word “monopoly” in Issue 3’s ballot title.Source: Toledo Blade, The (OH) Author: Jim Provance, Blade Columbus Bureau ChiefPublished: November 1, 2015Copyright: 2015 The Blade Contact: letters Website: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Post Comment