Search Results for: ResponsibleOhio

Say ‘Hi’ To Buddie: ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Mascot

OHIO:  Buddie, the muscular, cape-wearing marijuana bud mascot of ResponsibleOhio, joined the group’s bus tour to promote marijuana legalization.

Buddie’s first stop was Tuesday at the University of Toledo and ResponsibleOhio insists the mascot is geared toward young adults.

“Buddie is going to college campuses only to promote ‘Buddie’s 21 and Up Club’ and engage millennial voters in the process in a new, creative and exciting way,” ResponsibleOhio spokeswoman Faith Oltman said.


Libertarians, Green Party Oppose ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Plan

OHIO: ResponsibleOhio’s plan to legalize marijuana through a limited number of commercial growers is being criticized by two staunch supporters of marijuana legalization — the Green Party of Ohio and Libertarian Party of Ohio.

The two groups join grassroots pro-pot groups in opposing ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment, which would legalize marijuana for medical and personal use but limit commercial growing to10 predetermined sites promised to wealthy campaign backers. ResponsibleOhio plans to put its constitutional amendment before Ohio voters in November.

“There is nothing ‘responsible’ about ResponsibleOhio,” Libertarian Party of Ohio Political Director Tricia Sprankle said in a statement. “This isn’t a proposal to restore rights to Ohioans. It’s a crony scheme to line the pockets of a few wealthy investors.”


Ohio House Leaders To Carefully Explore Medical Marijuana

OHIO:  After years of resistance, Republican legislative leaders are now heading down the path toward legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

At the same time, ResponsibleOhio marijuana investor Dr. Suresh Gupta said Wednesday the marijuana campaign that stumbled badly Tuesday will be back, possibly next year, with a plan that doesn’t involve a monopoly. “Absolutely. We’re not here to run away,” said Gupta, a Dayton anesthesiologist and pain-management physician who owns a proposed pot-growing site in Pataskala.

Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, said the legislative plan is to engage the medical community, possibly including state funding for studies, and release a series of bills and resolutions in the coming weeks, with potential action next year. They will include a pilot program and urging Congress to drop marijuana to a lower drug classification.

Pro-Marijuana Group Seeks Injunction To Extend Polling Hours In Hamilton County

OHIO: The group campaigning to legalize marijuana in the state is seeking an injunction to extend voting hours in one Ohio county.

ResponsibleOhio said it wants to keep polls open by two extra hours in Hamilton County because of technical problems with voting equipment. The judge has yet to make a ruling.

Hamilton County is home to Cincinnati, the third largest city in the state.

ResponsibleOhio is the driving force behind Issue 3, which would legalize medical and recreational marijuana for residents 21 years and older. It would also allow 10 pre-designated sites to grow and manufacture pot.


Money Laundering Concerns Prompt Ohio Banks To Weigh In On Legal Pot

OHIO: The board of the Ohio Bankers League voted to oppose legalizing marijuana, citing concerns about money laundering.

Ohio voters will decide Nov. 3 whether to approve Issue 3, which would legalize marijuana for personal and medical use.

The proposed constitutional amendment was drafted by ResponsibleOhio, a political action committee. Issue 3 would permit 10 marijuana farms. Each would be owned by one of 10 investment groups, which contributed $2 million apiece to fund the PAC’s $20 million campaign to legalize pot. Investors include prominent Cincinnatians such as Frank Wood, CEO of the venture capital firm Secret Works.

Ohio Initiative Would Expunge Marijuana Crimes

OHIO:  Backers of a marijuana legalization amendment on this fall’s ballot filed petitions on Tuesday to put a separate proposed law in legislators’ laps to expunge criminal convictions for past pot offenses that would no longer be illegal.

The proposed initiated statute assumes voters will approve Issue 3 on Nov. 3 to make Ohio the first state east of Colorado to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes, which remains a big question mark.

But Ian James, executive director for ResponsibleOhio, said the group still will push what’s being called the Fresh Start Act if Issue 3 fails. The act could affect other activities that might be decriminalized by the legislature or voters.

“This allows people who’ve been convicted of offenses that are no longer illegal an ability to move forward, an ability to get expungement and sentencing review,” he said.

Monopoly On Ohio Marijuana Market Could Be Cloudy Issue

OHIO: If the federal government ever lifts its national prohibition of marijuana, ResponsibleOhio‘s proposed monopoly on growing it in Ohio likely would go up in smoke.

That’s because of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which reserves the ability to control trade between states exclusively for the federal government, constitutional scholars say. Ohio can do what it wants in terms of limiting what happens within its borders, they say — but not when it comes to trade from another state.

“State and local governments cannot enact laws that discriminate against interstate commerce,” said Brannon Denning, a constitutional law scholar and associate dean and a professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Alabama. “It would be discriminatory on its face, the way Ohio’s proposed amendment is written. … If someone in Colorado was growing and they wanted to sell it at a dispensary in Ohio, they could bring suit.”


Critics Take Aim At Marijuana Mascot

OHIO: A green and white superhero stumping for marijuana legalization votes at college campuses and bars in Ohio has sparked debate over its impact on children. “Buddie” is a fuzzy, ever-smiling pot bud in a bulging white muscle suit with green trunks, gloves and boots. He arrives in a truck painted with marijuana leaves declaring: “Yes on legalization.”

Children’s health advocates opposed to legalization said Buddie is reminiscent of Joe Camel, the cartoon dromedary proven so effective at marketing cigarettes to teenagers in the 1990s that R.J. Reynolds was forced to retire his image. They said the pot mascot makes light of a dangerous illegal drug in a manner appealing to kids. “We didn’t believe it when we saw the photos. We were pretty shocked,” said Nick Lashutka, president of the Ohio Children’s Hospitals Association that’s involved in fighting the legalization effort. “This is nothing less than a ploy to market to children.”

ResponsibleOhio, the campaign seeking in November to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, said Buddie is nothing like Joe Camel. Executive Director Ian James said the mascot is not marketing marijuana but asking for votes – and speaking exclusively to voting-age students. “Buddie only addresses people that are 18 and older, and Buddie works specifically with voters,” James said. “Buddie has no connection with anybody under 18 because anybody under 18 can’t vote.” Also, James said, Joe Camel’s tobacco product was legal whereas anyone selling marijuana in Ohio today “would go to jail.”

How Much Money Would Legal Marijuana Bring Ohio?

By Anne Saker

OHIO: Just how much money will Ohio rake in should voters approve Issue 3?  Right now, friends, the best I can find is some educated guesses because no one has implemented a limited-grow model for legal marijuana, as Issue 3 would establish. But the guesses do contain the word billion:

$2.26 billion: Total of retail sales of legal marijuana and marijuana products in 2020. This number comes from a task force assembled by the private investor group ResponsibleOhio, which drafted the proposed constitutional amendment that now is Issue 3. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters led the task force.

The task force report also estimated the 10 farms growing the commercial crop would make $1.1 billion in 2020, and the processors – the middle men – would pull in $726,760,994. The numbers were vetted by the Cleveland economic analysis firm of Burke Rosen.

Fears Of Marijuana ‘Monopoly’ In Ohio Undercut Support For Legalization

OHIO:  Yellow Springs is a small college town in Ohio that has more than one head shop and a lot of tie-dye and hemp.

Many would consider it ground zero for likely supporters of the referendum on the ballot this November that could make Ohio the fifth state to legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

But the proposal is drawing some unusual opposition — and it’s coming from residents who generally support legalizing marijuana.