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Auditor: 10 Farms For Pot Idea 'immoral'


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The accelerating force of ResponsibleOhio's push to legalize marijuana in Ohio this year has rattled the state's power structure. So much so that elected officials are working on language for the ballot that could short-circuit the private group's most radical idea, which Auditor Dave Yost calls "immoral" and "not American."

Yost, Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and others said Wednesday the ResponsibleOhio ballot proposal would enshrine constitutional protection for a small group of wealthy people to grow marijuana. Their own ballot initiative for 2015 would, Yost said, prevent private interests from using the Ohio Constitution to shield narrow private business interests.

"What my amendment is designed to do is: If you want to use the initiative process to legalize pot, then legalize pot," Yost said. "Don't create a monopoly or a cartel to do it."

ResponsibleOhio wants to put on the Nov. 3 ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana but in a novel structure: Only 10 farms around Ohio would be licensed by a Marijuana Control Commission to grow the crop.

The specific pieces of land have been written into the proposed amendment, and the properties have been purchased by more than a dozen wealthy Ohioans, including former University of Cincinnati star Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati philanthropist Barbara Gould, Cincinnati singer-restaurateur Nick Lachey and two descendants of President William Howard Taft.

Backers: Limits best way to regulate pot

The ResponsibleOhio backers say limiting the crop is the most important feature of their proposal and is the best way to move marijuana straight from prohibition to state-regulated sales.

"This is political shenanigans," said Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio. "They can't stop the voters' will, so Yost wants to change the rules."

James said ResponsibleOhio will file between 750,000 and 800,000 signatures with the secretary of state by the July 1 deadline to make the ballot. The necessary number for ballot inclusion is 305,591, but it's common for an initiative drive to submit more than the required amount as insurance.

Many of Ohio's elected officials, including Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine have said they oppose legalization in general – DeWine: "It's a stupid idea" – and the ResponsibleOhio effort, in particular. Many longtime marijuana advocates in Ohio also oppose the ResponsibleOhio language as creating a monopoly on growing marijuana, though a provision in the amendment would allow licensing for a home grower to raise four plants.

But the initiative effort, backed by millions of dollars in campaign money and polls showing voters in favor of legalization, is gaining ground. So Ohio's politicians are tacking to adjust. Last week, DeWine said he was thinking about an avenue to create a medical-marijuana program, although he had no details.

This week, Yost, Rosenberger and Rep. Michael Curtin said they found bipartisan opposition in the General Assembly to the ResponsibleOhio proposal, and they are kicking around language that would halt the limited-grow proposal.

Yost, a Republican, said, "The fact of the matter is, it limits the supply, it limits competition, and it allows for higher profits for the select few. It's wrong, it's immoral, and it's not American."

Deadline is Aug. 5 for legislature to act

Brittany Warner, press secretary for Rosenberger, a Clarksville Republican, said, "This isn't a citizens' initiative. It's a handful of people trying to make lots and lots of money on the sale of marijuana. So we are definitely having conversations on what could be done to protect such an important document from constitutional monopolies."

The legislature could add its own language straight onto the ballot, but the clock is ticking. The state House and Senate must pass the proposal by a three-fifths majority by Aug. 5. Warner said the legislature intends to finish the state's budget and adjourn by the end of June for the summer.

A similar argument about writing monopolies into the Ohio Constitution arose in 2009 with the initiative for a constitutional amendment that created four casinos. But Curtin, a Marble Cliff Democrat, said the difference is that, since 1851, the Ohio Constitution carried strong anti-gambling language that only an amendment could change to allow casinos.

"This is a whole different matter," Curtin said. "You don't have to amend the Ohio Constitution to change drug policy. The constitution is about fundamental law, it's about the structure of the economy, it's about limitations on government authority.

"The proponents of this issue are trying to amend the constitution not because drug policy should be in the constitution, but because they want to corner the market on marijuana and embed themselves into the bedrock foundation stone of our state. It's wrong, and that's why I'm involved."

James of ResponsibleOhio said the legislature has had the opportunity to change the state's policy toward marijuana since at least 1997, when the first medical-marijuana bill was introduced. This year, a limited bill to allow children with epilepsy access to a certain kind of marijuana extract was introduced and drew just nine co-sponsors.

"They got 29 co-sponsors to make 'Hang On Sloopy' the state rock song," James said. "They have more compassion for a rock song for than for kids with epilepsy."



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Yost, a Republican, said, "The fact of the matter is, it limits the supply, it limits competition, and it allows for higher profits for the select few. It's wrong, it's immoral, and it's not American."


Wow! That's pretty bad when a Republican says something like that about it. They usually only make those statements when referring to poor people and gays.

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It may be working for most  patients today i guess as long as they don;t come and take my stuff i have left i do agree it's working for some in some Counties and some Towns and also Cities 


but its not working for all 


Does anyone think thats OK ? Or can it work better for all the Sick as long as i'am at it Law one of 2008 say's anyone can use it in a Court room as a defense to any marihuana actively  i haven't seen that part yet

Edited by bobandtorey
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What I would like to see if this initiative passes:


Responsible Ohio sets up large grow ops and the Feds bust them for violation of the CSA.


Responsible Ohio sets up operations and,  due to a small technical violation, they are busted by the Ohio State Police for violating the CSA.


That's the way we do it here in Michigan and it sure as heck better be that way in Ohio too!

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  • 2 years later...
PUBLISHED: 07/10/17 04:18 PM EDT.
UPDATED: 07/10/17 08:36 PM EDT.

In order to legally sell, dispense, recommend or grow medical marijuana in Ohio you need approval from the Marijuana Control Program.

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Commerce held two public hearings for those who want to process medical marijuana and for medical professionals who can legally recommend pot as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.

Right now, 185 companies have applied to the state for approval to grow medical marijuana. That number will eventually be cut to 12 large growers and 12 small growers.

Large growers, called Level 1 cultivators are allowed to grow in an area up to 25,000 square feet. Smaller growers, called Level 2 cultivators can grow in an area of 3,000 square feet.

The state is requiring large growers to pay a fee of $200,000 per year and smaller growers will pay a fee of $20,000 per year.

The money from the fees will pay for administering the medical marijuana program.

On Tuesday, those looking to dispense and caregivers are encouraged to attend a public meeting regarding medical marijuana.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. It will be held at the State Fire Marshal's Office at 8895 East Main Street in Reynoldsburg.

Among conditions Ohio has deemed treatable with medical marijuana include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the disease that often afflicts football players
  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury, or TBI
  • Ulcerative colitis


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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - The 13abc I-Team giving you a first look at the plans for a medical marijuana facility in Toledo.


Even though licenses aren't approved yet, this company is getting a jump on the process. 

That proposed site is near the corner of Cassandra drive and Jason street in Washington Township, in Toledo. 

What we've not yet determined are the exact owners of the facility but we have a better idea of what it could look like and how medical marijuana may take shape here in Toledo. 

Plans were submitted in June to the Toledo-Lucas County plan commission for the over 23 acre site. 

The proposed site would have one building, surrounded by lots of landscaping, a few small parking lots and one driveway off Cassandra. 

A closer look give us the first idea of security for the place. Barbed wire fences, between six and nine feet tall, will surround the entire facility according to these site plans. 

As for the building itself, where the marijuana will be grown and processed, renderings give us some idea of what it will look like on all 4 sides. It’s a building made of insulated metal wall panels and fiber cement panels.


As for neighbors, this site would be bordered by Toledo's landfill on one side and several industrial buildings on the others.

The I-Team visited some of the neighbors Wednesday and none of them knew about these proposed plans. 

Everything is proposed because so far the state has not even granted licenses for any company to grow medical marijuana. 

Almost 200 companies submitted applications. 12 will be awarded for large operations, 12 for smaller operations.

A Department of Commerce spokeswoman says there's no timetable for when they'll decide who gets a license. The program has to be up and operational in 2018.



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