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Responsible Ohio: Prohibition through Monopoly

Here in Ohio we're finally in the cusp of realizing legalizing marijuana and by legalizing, I don't mean the end of prohibition. No we're going to full circle in corporate control of the plant, the state benefiting from the sale of the plant and of course no reversing convictions of those who have sold it or smoked it previously. This initiative is the idea of ten investors, which want to capitalize upon the new emerging market of marijuana.

The issue easily divides people into camps who want strict regulation, medicinal cannabis only and a corporate monopoly created by the state to control the market and stomp out the black market. There is benefit to all of these initiatives, but none of these establish credibility in my opinion as this amendment doesn't end prohibition, it eases the burden for businessman to make money off of it however.

According to Provision F:

The growth and cultivation of marijuana and medical marijuana, and the extraction of cannabinoids from marijuana and medical marijuana, for sale and medical use within this state SHALL BE LAWFUL ONLY AT licensed MGCE facilities

 Which means if you home grow for your own use or medicinal purposes, the state and this legal cartel will ruin your life. Where is the freedom in this language exactly? Furthermore in the amendment they define lawful possession of marijuana is just one ounce, according to Section D of the amendment.

Of course to keep people in order and maintain their grow sites profitability the only legal marijuana is the kind grown on their property. Such is the way of the market, an iron fist around your neck.

As Ctizens Against Responsible Ohio says:

If RO passes, it would void four decades of decriminalization for the masses to the favor of just 10 entities who would be legally engaging in the very same conduct on a grand scale that could otherwise send those masses to jail. (Section K) RO contains no protections whatsoever against arrest, prosecution, incarceration or asset forfeiture

The amendment doesn't address reversing convictions of former non-violent offenders, industrial hemp and it makes sure to keep their monopoly intact by outlawing home-growing. Just to keep their protection by the state intact.

The investors have been hush, hush since the beginning of this initiative. There are ten investors and many with backgrounds we know nothing about. However thanks to the Columbus Free Press I did find this tidbit:

  For example, Chancy Pruett and John Humphrey hail from DMP Investments. Who is DMP, you ask? It is a “Payday Lending Company,” and they are its executives. Remember, these abusive payday loans can carry interest rates of 800 percent or more annually.

Oscar Robertson is a former pro-basketball player now retired. Rick Kirk is a CEO of Hallmark Campus Communities formerly K and E Construction. Nanette Lepore is a an Ohio native who is a fashion entrepreneur who lives in New York city now and has a guest role Project Runway All Stars. James and Barbara Gould are also named in this amendment, Barbara is a community leader and James is a sports agent, businessman and is on the board of directors of numerous companies including Build-A-Bear Workshop.

James has experience in private equity and Barbara has served on the Ohio Arts Council Board, Cincinnati Ballet and other unnamed organizations. Frostee Rucker is a former Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals football player. Frank E. Wood is the CEO of Secret Communications LLC, a private venture capital company

It is worth noting he was Senior VP and CFO of Foundation Coal Holdings, Inc. He was apart of the organization while the UMWA at three different mines went on strike for a new contract in 2007 in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Sir Alan Mooney was knighted by Pope Benedict XVI and is on the board of The Catholic Foundation of The Columbus Diocese and is on the board of Ohio Council of Churches, he is also principle of Mooney Wealth Advisory, Inc.

William J. Foster, owner of A-1 Quality Logistical Solutions of Cincinnati. Bobby George is a managing member of Corporate Management Group who specializes in land development, business management and marketing, finance, event planning, hospitality and consulting. 

I have read many pieces which these people have had their opinions on this subject. Many seemed to have lost people who would benefit from medicinal marijuana, however I do not believe these people can see the forest for the trees and they would create regressive laws to make sure their profit is protected.

This is the wrong way to go about this, nothing of this amendment would benefit regular people and the amendment was crafted without our input. It is imperative for them to open a dialogue with the people of Ohio. If they choose not to, I expect this to be defeated because I know many people are not happy with Responsible Ohio. I will not be supporting the amendment. There has to be a better way.



Comments

  1. I agree with you 100 percent. Even with r.o. s revision of their amendment to allow licensed home grow of just 4 plants and cutting taxes for only the wealthy growers claiming it will lower the price for the consumer ( which will be what ever they want it to be without any competition) I can see clearly through their smoke screen of deception. I will never sign their petition and I will vote no to them. Yes for legalization but hell no to r.o. s monopoly/cartel. R.o. is an insult to everybody pro canabis and ro the intelligence of every person in the state of ohio.

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