The group ResponsibleOhio and their controversial cannabis legalization plan is barreling toward the ballot this November; the group recently turned in nearly 700,000 signatures to The Ohio Secretary of State, more than twice what is needed to qualify for the ballot.
In most cases, something like this would be a straight up and down vote by the people, but the Ohio legislature has different plans for RO. Claiming they are suddenly worried about “monopolies,” the legislature also recently passed a measure – that will be voted on at the ballot box this year as well - that would keep measures like RO’s from being passed. In other words, it is possible for the RO plan and the measure that would nullify RO’s plan to be passed by the same voters on the same day.
This is unlikely since we have to assume that those who vote for legalization would vote against the other measure, and vice versa. But if the vote is close, those who only vote for one measure or the other could loom large. Let’s face it, not all voters are paying enough attention to know that measures are competing against each other; some just vote for their pet issues and candidates and ignore the rest.
Under the RO plan, only 10 growers would be allowed to grow cannabis to sell to retail stores, which would be the 10 investor groups that are financing the plan. In other aspects, the RO plan is very similar to legalization plans passed elsewhere. RO has a ton of money for ads in a state that passed a comparable plan approving casinos just a few years ago.
Could recreational legalization come to a state that doesn’t even have a medical marijuana law yet? Looks like we are going to find out in about 4 months.