International Cannabis Business Conference

ResponsibleOhio's Issue 3 Marijuana Legalization Amendment Makes the Ballot

In March, The Price is Right host Drew Carey criticized ResponsibleOhio's amendment to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State. The Green and Libertarian parties of Ohio joined the opposition as well - and not because they're anti-pot.

Carey tweeted: "I'm not sure I like ResponsibleOhio's plan for legalizing pot in Ohio. Sounds like they're creating their own monopoly like the casinos did."  

The controversy surounds the wording that "calls for 10 production facilities to supply the state’s legal marijuana market. Marijuana purchased at licensed retail stores would be taxed at a rate of 5%, while all other steps of the supply chain would be taxed at a 15% rate." The production facilties and retail outlets would be awarded to the amendment's chief investors.

Green Party of Ohio co-chair Bob Fitrakis contends that this would be "exchanging an illegal cartel, for a legal one, representing the worst of cannabis capitalism."

Libertarian Party of Ohio Political Director Tricia Sprankle states: "There is nothing 'responsible' about ResponsibleOhio. This isn't a proposal to restore rights to Ohioans. It's a crony scheme to line the pockets of a few wealthy investors."

Update: On Aug. 12, ResponsibleOhio's proposed amendment to the state's Constitution was certified by the Secretary of State. It will be known as Issue 3 on the November ballot. Also on the ballot: Issue 2, which prohibits adding a marijuana "monopoly, oligopoly or cartel" to the Constitution.

The Greens supported another proposal promoted by the Ohio Rights Group, which would legalize medcinial and industrial use, but not recreational. It didn't make it on the ballot.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.