You’ve seen and heard a lot so far – much of it contradictory (as in any political debate) – about Issue 3 on the 2015 Ohio ballot.
- “They” want to legalize weed in Ohio!
- “They” are setting up an illegal drug cartel to monopolize the marijuana market and cash in!
- The state is upset they won’t have their hands in the cookie jar if Issue 3 passes.
- There’s going to be marijuana stores everywhere, likely closer to your neighborhood school than the local McDonalds.
- It goes on and on…
What really matters is what is really being proposed, and the only way to figure that out is to read the proposed amendment yourself. If you don’t have the time or desire, here’s a quick recap of what would happen if the initiative passes:
- Possession of less than 8oz mariujuana in all of Ohio will no longer be a crime
- Individuals over 21 years old can legally consume, grow, and purchase marijuana – whether it be for medicinal use or recreation.
- Up to 4 flowering cannabis plants may be grown, legally, in every Ohio household. An unlimited number of non-flowering (vegetative growth/not maturing or showing flowers) may also be grown.
- Marijuana and cannabis infused edibles can be purchased at any of the possible 1100+ dispensaries to be set-up in Ohio.
- Licenses for these dispensaries will be available to the public, as long as the applicant is 21 or older.
- All cannabis distributed through these dispensaries will be grown in one of 10 pre-determined locations throughout Ohio.
- 9 of the 10 grow-operations are already “spoken for” (already owned), and spelled out in the amendment. The 10th will be available for another entity 4 years after the initiative passes. Each of these 9 grow locations is owned by a different entity, each of which contributed 1/9 of the total cost for Responsible Ohio to get this initiative on the ballot ($36million was raised to start the initiative, and subsequently 9 corporations were created in late 2014 with $4 million initial capital each)
- All cannabis leaving these grow-sites will be tested for purity and contaminants
- There are 5 lab-testing facilities that will be approved to test the cannabis, all of which are also pre-determined and already “spoken for”
That about sums it up! To many casual users, this seems like a big WIN! Finally, they can smoke some pot without fear of being harassed by law enforcement.
Opponents to the measure, however, see a huge risk in writing a monopoly into our constitution. They believe this structure will stymie the industry in Ohio and prevent a much larger cross-section of Ohioans to benefit from its legalization. Issue 2, also on the ballot, addresses this very concern. Read more about Issue 2 here.
Who’s right? Nobody…it’s up to you! Get out an vote and make your opinion matter.