Ohioans Say No to Recreational Marijuana Legalization

110915_Ohioans Say No to Recreational Marijuana Legalization 

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Ohio residents have spoken: They don’t want recreational marijuana if it’s going to be monopolized.

Ohioans shot down the proposal backed by ResponsibleOhio to legalize recreational marijuana last week as they saw it as a representation of corporatization to end marijuana prohibition. Issue 3, as it is known to Ohioans, places the state’s marijuana cultivation in the hands of a few investors who collectively contributed as much as $20 million in the campaign. These investors included former NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and former boy band 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey. Furthermore, dispensaries will be limited to 10 facilities within the state.

ResponsibleOhio executive director Ian James brushed off critics, saying that Issue 3 will allow regulators to better control the industry. “Measuring from 10, to start, and then growing from there is really, we believe, a smarter way to go forward,” he said. He also noted that without a huge budget, legalizing weed in the swing state would be futile.

Still, that doesn’t stop other groups from putting forth a separate amendment for next year’s general elections.

“We have our own initiative,” said Sri Kavuru, president of Ohioans to End Prohibition. “It’s already approved by the attorney general’s office and the ballot board. We’ve collected a lot of signatures so far.”

The group’s proposal states that adults aged 21 and up can possess up to 100 grams of marijuana and can grow up to six mature plants in their home without the need for a license. If Kavuru’s proposed amendment ends up successful, it will go into effect on January 1, 2017.

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