Search Results for: Responsible Ohio

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.


Ohio To Vote On Marijuana Legalization In November

OHIO: The Buckeye state will put pot legalization to the ballot on Nov. 3, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted confirmed.

Putting marijuana legalization on the ballot took a couple tries: Ohio’s first attempt failed, but pro-pot advocate group ResponsibleOhio, a driving force behind the initiative, pulled through with the minimum 305,591 signatures. The group’s investors pledged to spend at least $20 million to convince Ohioans to vote for legalization.

If the measure passes, however, legalization might take a while: in June, the Ohio Legislature hurriedly placed a measure, Issue 2, that prohibited “a monopoly, oligopoly or cartel” in Ohio of federally-controlled substances like marijuana. The ResponsibleOhio initiative calls for a limit to pot production by ten farms, which state legislators argue might constitute an oligopoly.

Ohio Marijuana Proposal In Danger Of Falling Short

OHIO:  The marijuana legalization effort in Ohio is in danger because it does not have enough signatures yet to put a measure on the Nov. 3 ballot.

“We’re coming in lower than we were expecting,” said Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, the private investor group that wants to legalize marijuana this year.

Ohio’s secretary of state is expected to announce as early as Monday whether ResponsibleOhio gathered enough valid signatures of registered Ohio voters to get the measure before voters in 2015. ResponsibleOhio needs 305,591 signatures to qualify. On June 30, the group turned in 695,273 signatures with the goal of ensuring it would have the right number, 50%, to qualify.

Ohio Marijuana-Legalization Group Begins Collecting Signatures For Ballot Issue

OHIO: ResponsibleOhio, one of the groups supporting legalization of marijuana in Ohio, started collecting signatures Wednesday with the goal of getting its issue before voters this fall.

“We’re starting collection in major cities and will expand across Ohio in the coming weeks,” the group announced in a post to Twitter.

Spokeswoman Lydia Bolander described initial efforts as a “soft launch” that would allow staff to be trained and get their feet wet. More widespread efforts will likely begin next week.

$36 Million Raised For Ohio Marijuana Legalization Proposal

OHIO:  Investors have raised at least $36 million to fund Responsible Ohio‘s plan to legalize marijuana and purchase the commercial growing sites promised to campaign backers.

Investors contributed $4 million to each of nine limited liability corporations tied to ResponsibleOhio last year, according to securities offering filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ResponsibleOhio officials have said they expect to spend more than $20 million to get their constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot and passed by a majority of voters in November.

ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment would establish a legal marijuana industry fueled solely by marijuana grown at 10 sites, which would be owned and operated by investor groups. The organization has revealed a dozen investors including basketball all-star Oscar Robertson, former Browns player Frostee Rucker and fashion designer Nanette Lepore, a Youngstown native, and has promised to reveal more in the coming months.

Ten state-registered limited liability corporations had contributed $1.7 million to ResponsibleOhio’s political action committee before the end of January, according to a campaign finance filing with the Ohio secretary of state. The group had spent $1.3 million at that point, mostly on political consulting from The Strategy Network, run by ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James, and attorneys.


Ohio’s Marijuana Legalization Ballot Proposal Revised To Include Home Grow

OHIO:  Ohioans would be able to grow up to four marijuana plants for personal use under a revised constitutional amendment proposed by Responsible Ohio.

The initial draft ballot language for the marijuana legalization amendment, released last week, hadn’t allowed people to grow their own plants, a restriction that drew criticism from other pro-marijuana advocates.

“After extensive conversations with experts and concerned citizens across the state and nation, Responsible-Ohio has decided to include regulated and limited home growing as a part of our amendment,” the group’s spokeswoman, Lydia Bolander, said in a news release.

In an interview, Bolander said those growing marijuana at home would be subject to licensing and strict requirements about how the plants are maintained. For instance, she said, marijuana would have to be grown indoors and kept in a secure location inaccessible to those younger than 21.

Legal Pot Backers In Ohio Trickle Out Details Of 2015 Vision

OHIO:  The marijuana legalization movement has arrived in Ohio with high-flying ambitions: making it the first state to move from a complete ban to complete legalization with a single vote.

ResponsibleOhio is one of two competing legalization campaigns pushing forward in the state. It released further elements of its plan this week, while again stopping short of unveiling the legal technicalities of a ballot measure planned for November. Other states where marijuana is now fully legal generally began by legalizing medical marijuana use first.

Campaign representative Chris Stock said the Ohio amendment will make marijuana legal for both medical and personal use for those over 21 years old, and set up checks and balances not unlike those that currently exist for alcoholic beverages.

Marijuana in Ohio will be safe, controlled, tested and clearly labeled for medical and personal use,” Stock said in a statement. “Our plan will also create opportunities for Ohioans to own and operate retail stores and manufacturing facilities, which will create thousands of new jobs in an emerging market.”

2 Ballot Measures To Legalize Marijuana Emerge In Ohio

OHIO:  Two proposed ballot measures to legalize medical and recreational marijuana have emerged in Ohio in less than a month.
The latest, on Thursday from Ohioans to End Prohibition, would legalize the purchase, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis products for Ohioans, ages 21 or older. The group hopes to get the Cannabis Control Amendment before voters in 2016.
Vice President Jacob Wagner said the measure differs from a proposal announced in December by Responsible Ohio, which calls for establishing 10 authorized growing locations around the state. The Ohioans to End Prohibition measure would not restrict individuals who want to grow marijuana at home for personal use, only retail sales.
Responsible Ohio hopes to put its ballot measure before voters this fall. The measure also would allow adults, 21 or older, to access marijuana as they do alcohol – through a market system that’s taxed and regulated by the state. Tax proceeds would be distributed to local communities, whose residents would have the power to approve or deny future retail locations through the ballot box.

Ohio Group Aims For 2015 Ballot Issue To Legalize Marijuana

OHIO:  Ohioans could be voting on a marijuana ballot issue next year unlike any other in the country, involving 10 wealthy individuals who would essentially invest to obtain the right to grow and sell marijuana wholesale for personal use by residents 21 or older.

A group calling itself ResponsibleOhio said it will back an issue to “end marijuana prohibition” and “pursue a ballot initiative in 2015 to give voters the opportunity to let adults 21 and older use marijuana for medical and personal use.”

“Marijuana for medical and personal use should be a choice made by adults 21 and older in this state. We are going to end this failed prohibition,” said Lydia Bolander, spokeswoman for the campaign.

“Legalizing marijuana for medical and personal use means increased safety because we will regulate, tax and treat marijuana like alcohol,” Bolander said. “We will smother the black market and use the taxes generated to help local communities provide vital public services.

Blumenauer Announces Co-Chairs of Congressional Cannabis Caucus For 116th Congress

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a leading advocate for cannabis policy reform and founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, today announced the launch of the Caucus for the 116th Congress. The Caucus leadership team includes Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), who will become the first woman of color to Co-Chair the Caucus; Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH), who newly joins the leadership team; and returning Co-Chair, Representative Don Young (R-AK-At-Large).

The bipartisan Caucus provides a forum for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss, learn, and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy.

“The Cannabis Caucus was the first of its kind to create a forum for elected officials to collaborate on ways to address our outdated federal marijuana laws” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Congress is clearly out of step with the American people on cannabis when national support for federal marijuana legalization is at an all-time high and we saw several states move toward legalization last November.”

“Over the last decade, I’ve worked to build understanding and consensus on the need for reform and our movement is cresting. I’m looking forward to working alongside Reps. Lee, Joyce and Young to build on the bipartisan work we’ve done to end the senseless federal prohibition on marijuana once and for all.”

“For far too long, communities of color and women have been left out of the conversation on cannabis. I am committed to ensuring that marijuana reform goes hand-in-hand with criminal justice reform so we can repair some of the harm of the failed War on Drugs. We must also work to build an industry that is equitable and inclusive of the communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition,” said Rep. Lee.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in leading the effort to implement responsible, commonsense cannabis policies,” said Rep. Joyce. “It is critical that we protect the rights of the states across the country, like Ohio, that have already done so at the state level. The federal government’s interference in this arena has stifled important medical research, interfered with doctors and patients making treatment decisions and harmed state-legal businesses. I look forward to working with Congressman Blumenauer, Congressman Young and Congresswoman Lee to advance sensible cannabis reforms that will benefit our nation’s veterans, patients, and businesses across the country.”

“Since the initial launch of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus we’ve seen an exponential growth in interest, legislation, and membership many would not have expected”, said Rep. Young. “The idea of States’ Rights has been a central tenet of this movement and one that I believe will ultimately carry the day. I encourage all Members to join us in this debate and explore the varying issues.”

“It’s good to be back with Representative Blumenauer, showing that bipartisanship can still shine. I’d also like to welcome Representatives Joyce and Lee as Co-Chairs of this important Caucus and I know they’ll be as asset. They follow in the footsteps of former Representatives Rohrabacher and Polis, who helped make this all possible with their long standing advocacy and dedication and we wish them the best.”