Legalizing Marijuana is Gaining Support

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  Legalizing Marijuana is Gaining Support

Posted by CN Staff on November 04, 2015 at 15:22:10 PT
By Matt Pearce 
Source: Los Angeles Times 

Ohio -- For years, Americans' support for legalizing marijuana has been growing. Pollsters have felt the momentum. Solid majorities now respond that they want legal weed.So what happened in Ohio on Tuesday, when voters voted 64% to 36% against a well-funded marijuana-legalization initiative to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, handing a high-profile defeat to the burgeoning legalization movement?
The answer is pretty simple, if you ask some marijuana supporters who opposed the measure: The small group of investors who drafted and promoted the initiative blew it by designing the law so that they would be the only commercial growers allowed in the state.Opponents, and even some legalization proponents, called the investors monopolists. Or, as Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority called them on Twitter, "You idiots," also tweeting the hashtag #HowNotToLegalizeMarijuana.Election losses can be bitter affairs among activists with competing visions, given how victories can trigger wide change while defeats can set back a cause.Marijuana advocates across the country were closely watching the controversial Ohio effort as a crucial election year for marijuana looms in 2016. Voters in California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Nevada and Maine are expected to vote on legalization on the same ballot they'll use to vote for the next president, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.“Polls show a strong and growing majority of Americans think marijuana should be legal for adults," the policy project's spokesman, Mason Tvert, said in a statement Tuesday night. "There is a lot of momentum building behind the movement to end marijuana prohibition heading into 2016. Election Day was relatively uneventful this year, but next year it will be truly historic.”Tvert added, “It’s pretty obvious that the outcome in Ohio does not reflect where the nation stands or the direction in which it is heading when it comes to marijuana policy."None of those measures closely resembles the defeated Ohio initiative, which was designed for its backers' own profit.The investor group drafted the Ohio initiative so that only 10 preselected lots of land in Ohio could be used to grow commercial marijuana. Those lots of land were already owned by the investors.The mastermind of the measure, political consultant Ian James, acknowledged that he was going to make money.“The honest and most easy response is: I am going to profit from this,” James told the Center for Public Integrity in June, which found that James' firm was getting paid at least $5.6 million just to mount the campaign. “If people are upset about me making money, I don’t know what to say other than that that’s part of the American process. To win and make this kind of change for social justice, it does cost a lot of money.”A small group of investors signed up with James' campaign effort, called ResponsibleOhio, which promised a $1-billion wholesale marijuana market in a prospectus obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.The 24 investors included notable Ohioans such as former NBA star Oscar Robertson, former boy-band celebrity Nick Lachey and descendants of President William Howard Taft.The group even got its own grinning mascot, Buddie, a human-shaped marijuana bud who looked like he had been given a Superman costume and some really strong steroids.The financial structure of the Ohio measure made many legalization supporters uncomfortable and proved an easy target for opponents.When Lachey appeared in ads appealing for the passage of the bill, he was criticized for not mentioning he was an investor.State politicians turned against the measure and presented voters with an “anti-monopoly” initiative to appear on the same ballot. That initiative, Issue 2, won 52% to 48%. It was designed to nullify the marijuana measure and ban special-interest groups from creating constitutional amendments for financial gain.The Brookings Institution's John Hudak wrote in an analysis that the loss was likely not a "death knell" for marijuana activists. "In fact, I’m certain there are reform-minded individuals and organizations around the country that will be quietly pleased — or at least not shed tears — that Issue 3 failed, knowing that eventually another initiative, written in another way, on the ballot in another year, will likely pass," wrote Hudak.James, the ballot measure's backer, signaled that he would be back, too.“We started the conversation, and we’re going to continue the conversation starting tomorrow," James said in a statement after the loss. "The status quo doesn’t work, it’s unacceptable and we’re not going away."Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Matt PearcePublished: November 4, 2015Copyright: 2015 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #10 posted by Paint with light on November 06, 2015 at 21:34:25 PT

apologies to WM S
Legal by any other name should sound so sweet.Finally......but still a ways to go before I sleep.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 05, 2015 at 17:16:01 PT

I agree with you!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on November 05, 2015 at 14:52:54 PT

A force of words doesn't obliterate the enemy.
It's a push, a long, slow, relentless, hard push, using truth like a sword, to make something right without killing or imprisoning anyone. I think I can speak for all of us, or most of us, that we hate bloodshed. We hated the innocent blood shed and lives and liberty lost that we saw happening all over the place because of the so called "War on Drugs". But we didn't want to be like them, the prohibitionists. I see them as monsters. Some with sweet smiling innocent looking faces, but monsters just the same. Those people are willing to hurt others over a cannabis plant.I'm sixty seven years old.We are The Children of Peace. That's what so called "Baby Boomers" really are. We were born in large numbers because of a great reuniting and peace brought to a nation, to the world, because of the end of a terrible war. I despise that it's taken this long to get this far. Common sense says it should have been over so long ago. And yes, President Obama, amazingly, just being elected brought more supporters of our point of view out in the open than I had ever seen before and we have been seeing greater progress in ending the injustice of cannabis prohibition than ever before. It should have been done a long time ago, but the good thing is that in the last few years, we've seen progress like never before. Legal in some places in the United States! Not just medicinal, either. Legal! When it's legal, the government and government agents are expected to stop suspecting, hurting, and harming people and human dignity over the plant and it's prohibition. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 05, 2015 at 05:08:03 PT

Paint with Light
Thank you! I know that all the progress has been made during President Obama's administration and it isn't over yet. Thank you for the Birthday wishes. Prison reform is being pushed now too so that is a good think.
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Comment #6 posted by Paint with light on November 05, 2015 at 00:50:20 PT

Happy Birthday FoM!!!!!!!!!
We would have been in high school at the same time.I was 65 in July.I know it is frustrating to have put the time and effort you have into this cause and still it seems to be moving so slow.In perspective, look where we were at the start of Obama's term.It just seems the last few feet of pushing this rock up the mountain seems to be the hardest and the slowest...............because we know where we should and free like it ought to be. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 04, 2015 at 17:14:47 PT

Bernie Sanders' just introduced a Bill today to legalize marijuana.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 04, 2015 at 17:13:40 PT

I am 68 years old today and I am fed up with this.
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Comment #3 posted by Vincent on November 04, 2015 at 16:57:30 PT:

Please excuse my obvious anger, but I simply DESPISE Prohibitionists. However, as a Baby-Boomer, I conclude that any one of us that betrays our "orthodoxy" is a traitor. We need every last vote if we are going to defeat these anti-Marijuana IMBECILES.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 04, 2015 at 16:51:04 PT

We are very sad about it. It was far from perfect but I can't vote against anything that makes marijuana legal in my state.
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Comment #1 posted by Vincent on November 04, 2015 at 16:40:37 PT:

Our election loss
Much of what the journalist wrote was probably true, but those pro-Marijuana supporters who voted against this measure should be ASHAMED of themselves! What they did, by voting against this measure, was tantamount to TREASON, in my view.Of course, the usual suspects, those bible-thumping LOWLIFES, probably voted in droves, just like the mindless drones that they are! Frankly, I wish that the Romans, great civilizers that they were, threw ALL of those rabble-rousing, bible-bangers to the lions! 
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