OHIO: The belief that marijuana is a growth industry appears to be the driving force behind a planned 2015 constitutional amendment that would ask Ohioans to authorize 10 individuals or businesses to grow and sell marijuana wholesale for personal and medicinal use by residents 21 or older.
Despite being in the works for up to a year, Thursday’s revelation of a ballot issue caught many people off guard, including those who support and oppose legalization. Most observers were expecting a push to come from more traditional sources such as the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, the California-based Drug Policy Alliance, the Ohio Rights Group or one of the other advocate organizations.
Instead, the proposal appears to be driven by big-money investors reportedly coming from the ranks of economic development, former professional athletes and other interests. No information was available about how the 10 growers would be selected or where they would be allowed to operate.
“This is about big business and people who are lining their pockets,” said Marcie Seidel, executive director of the Drug Free Action Alliance. “Our kids are going to be the victims of this. Our workplaces are going to be compromised.”