A Second Look at Ohio: Why It’s Worth Supporting

With the 2015 election day only two weeks away, and prodded by our friend Russ Belville at 420 Radio for failing to more enthusiastically embrace Issue 3 in Ohio, this seemed like a good time to take a second look at the measure on the ballot in Ohio to both legalize marijuana for medical purposes and fully legalize marijuana for all adults.

First, one might justifiably ask the authors of this measure why they would bother with medical marijuana at all. If marijuana is legal for all adults, that includes patients as well as recreational users, and it removes the need for patients to pay a physician to confirm their need for marijuana. With the exception of a small medical use program that would cover those minors who have a legitimate medical need, there is no need for two separate legalization distribution systems.

But having somewhat duplicative legalization systems, while it may not be efficient, is not a reason to oppose Initiative 3.

Provisions Limiting Access to the New Market Are Not New

The reason given by most who claim to support legalization, but who oppose the Ohio proposal, is the reality that the investors who have put up millions of dollars to qualify the initiative for the November ballot also stand to profit handsomely from their investment, by controlling the 10 commercial cultivation centers allowed under this plan. It strikes many of us as inappropriate to build such an economic advantage by a few rich investors into the state’s constitution.

But as Belville and others (including this author) have noted, several other states that have legalized marijuana (for medical use) have limited entry into the legal industry by placing severe limits on the numbers of licenses that will be permitted, or by requiring such enormous financial investments that ordinary citizens are effectively shut out of the industry. So limiting access to the commercial cultivation centers in the newly legal market would be nothing new, nor should it justify opposing this opportunity to end marijuana prohibition in Ohio. We should focus on ending prohibition, and not get distracted by who will profit from the legal market.

Why NORML Supported I-502

In his latest rant, Belville questions why NORML and other pro-legalization organizations would endorse I-502 in Washington state in 2012, which failed to legalize personal cultivation, and included a 5 nanogram per se DUID provision that would leave many smokers unfairly subject to a DUID charge, but would either remain neutral on Issue 3 in Ohio (MPP, ASA and DPA) or tepidly endorse the proposal (NORML).

The answer to this question is simple: In 2012 marijuana for personal use was illegal in all 50 states, and had been for more than 75 years. It was crucial that some state – any state – show the courage to break the mold and openly defy federal law, as New York and a handful of other states did near the end of alcohol prohibition. For the legalization movement to gain credibility and force our way onto the mainstream political agenda, we had to take legalization out of the theoretical realm and demonstrate that it actually works.

Our opponents had always claimed that if we legalize marijuana, the sky would fall. Everyone would sit home and get stoned all day; no one would go to work or live an ordinary life; and western civilization as we know it would come to an end (perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point).

Of course, we would counter that legalization would stop the senseless arrest and prosecution of otherwise law-abiding citizens who smoke marijuana responsibly, and save enormous amounts of law enforcement resources that could be redirected to fighting serious and violent crime.

But until we had at least one state with the fortitude to declare itself out of the prohibition game, we had no actual data to validate either position. It was an endless theoretical argument, with no clear winner.

The approval of legalization in Washington and Colorado in 2012, by giving us these two state laboratories where we could measure the actual impact of legalization, was the game changer that catapulted full legalization into the mainstream political debate, and gave us the measurable evidence that legalization is indeed the solution that most Americans are looking for. And the fears that were stoked by our opponents – of a spike in adolescent marijuana smoking, or carnage on the roads caused by stoned drivers – simply did not materialize. In fact, just the opposite. Adolescent use is slightly down in the legalization states, and there has been no increase in DUID cases.

We gave our strong support to I-502 in Washington (as well as A-64 in Colorado) even with its limitations, because of the crucial need to demonstrate that a majority of the voters in a state would support full legalization, and that legalization actually works on the ground, with few, if any, unintended consequences. Those first two victories made it possible for our subsequent victories in Alaska and Oregon in 2014, and hopefully many more to follow.


There. Now I have said it, clearly and unequivocally. Issue 3 in Ohio should be endorsed by all who favor legalization, even with its imperfections. As the NORML board of directors concluded when we endorsed the Ohio proposal, unless the current proposal in Ohio is approved, it will likely be five years or more (perhaps far longer) before marijuana will be legalized in Ohio. Under their current laws, roughly 12,000 Ohioans are arrested on marijuana charges each year. Does anyone really believe we should sit by waiting for a more acceptable version of legalization to magically appear, while another 60,000 to 100,000 smokers are arrested in Ohio?

In addition, just as the victories in Washington and Colorado were especially significant because they were the first, and opened the door for serious consideration in additional states, it would be an enormous step forward politically to adopt full legalization in Ohio — a large, conservative midwestern state. And it would suddenly put full legalization on the table for serious consideration by many other similarly situated states.

Its time to legalize in Ohio.

46 thoughts

  1. Thank you, Keith, for a perfect response to my prodding-with-love.

    Indeed, I think the “first in the nation” aspect of I-502 should be applied to Ohio as the “first in the non-hippie-dippie / non-rural-libertarian nation” state to approve legalization. CO & WA got to be first, period, OR got to be first in a non-presidential, AK got to be first red state, all of these firsts are monumental to the national movement.

    For swing-state, highly-populated, rust-belt, industrial Ohio to fall, surrounded by far more unfriendly states, will be, as Trump would say, YUUUGE!

  2. I appreciate the article and the backing of issue 3 for Ohio. We all know it’s not what Jack Herrer would have wanted, but it might be the best we can do for now. In the long term, other factors need to change such as removing cannabis from the CSA(controlled substances act).

    I am optimistic that the local Ohio chapters of NORML will see the light before it’s to late, we need all the help we can get.

  3. Good article! This is the real world. The challenge for each citizen who considers themselves patriotic is to effect positive change to our society here and now. One use of Cannabis is to creatively explore your own mind and the beauty within the surrounding physical world. It makes you a better person. For example, here is a paragraph I wrote after considerable mediation, thanks.

    Nothing is deliberate or intentional in a purely mechanical universe. However, hugging yourself is an example of self-awareness which feels deliberate but occurs due only to physics. Hence, self-awareness and consciousness are actually attributes of the physical world, our ancient earth.

  4. thanx for all u do norml and thanx for endorsing issue 3 issue 3 isnt perfect but the main thing is to get it legalized. i pray it passes and that issue 2 fails.

  5. the media in ohio via politicians and police groups are starting scare tactics by publishing lies and bull shit about the evils of legalizing so thanx for comimg out in suppport

  6. Besides creating rights for underage patients, the medical marijuana provisions are important for a number of reasons:
    – Yes on 3 creates the largest non-profit network of dispensaries in the world. Medical patients will pay the lowest price and not be impacted by personal use demands.
    – The amendment gives doctors protection to recommend or openly discuss whether marijuana is the right choice for them. Without these rights they could face sanctions from the state medical board.
    – Patients have some protections to self-administer at work.
    – If patients aren’t able to get their necessary strains it will trigger the creation of more grow sites.
    There are a few other benefits to the medical system, but one of the most important isn’t in the amendment. Rather it is helping end the stigma of the medical marijuana patient as a someone faking a condition to legally get high.

  7. Thank you Keith and Russ!!! Thank you for giving voice to the silenced millions. There is no question that OH will be another major milestone which will add significant momentum to the 2016 elections. It cannot be underestimated just how crucial winning this 2015 OH election will be.

  8. Keith’s pragmatism and logic are, as usual, elucidating and spot on. Ohioans, do not lose sight of the prize ‘Legalization ‘. California is considered the big prize in the ending prohibition mind-think because of it’s huge population and the fact that they are a western state. I contend that Ohio is the stake to be driven through the heart of prohibition and your passage of Issue 3 will exponentially accelerate the repeal in other states. We’re all counting on you.

  9. As someone in a still illegal state, it makes me cringe when people try to fight for all or nothing. Although sticking to morals in force, there is also moral adherence to seeing the value in greater good. Does yes on 3 support the greater good? Yes! What we need is to continue at every opportunity to increase the rising green tide to a size where inaction is impossible. Laws can be redone or undone, so why is there fuss over OBVIOUS steps forward simply because they are not leaps. In the case of Ohio, it’s apparent to me that some supporters have lost sight of the difference, because yes on 3 IS A LEAP.

    YES ON 3, No on 2 in Ohio

  10. And these laws will change over time as legalization spreads. Legislators are still unwilling to accept the comparative lack of harm from marijuana use. They still treat it as if it’s more dangerous than alcohol…or plutonium. In time, those fears and attendant restrictions will fade as reality sets in.

  11. Thank you, Keith for this article and for your continuing support for ending prohibition in Ohio by encouraging a Yes vote on Issue 3. We Ohioans hope to hear even more from you in the next two weeks. 🙂

    I do have to point out though, it seems like you buried the lede. Let’s turn your article upside-down, shall we?
    Its time to legalize in Ohio.

    It would be an enormous step forward politically to adopt full legalization in Ohio — a large, conservative midwestern state. And it would suddenly put full legalization on the table for serious consideration by many other similarly situated states.

    Does anyone really believe we should sit by waiting for a more acceptable version of legalization to magically appear, while another 60,000 to 100,000 smokers are arrested in Ohio?

    There. Now I have said it, clearly and unequivocally. Issue 3 in Ohio should be endorsed by all who favor legalization…

    There. *NOW* you’ve said it clearly and unequivocally.

  12. I have been an active part of Norml since 2008. I am a veteran of the us navy and was pushed out for my use of cannabis. Ever since then I have been doing everything I can personally to show others that I am an active part of this society and contribute just the same as any hard working person. I smoke cannabis and am tired of being persecuted for it. I say yes on 3 because I want my freedom back. I say yes on 3 because I will do anything I can in my power to take my freedom back. If that means a few good hearted investors make their profit so be it. We can always change law once in place. We no longer use stone to print on….

  13. “Under their current laws, roughly 12,000 Ohioans are arrested on marijuana charges each year.” And for that: Fuck you Ohio, you worthless assholes!

  14. You all deserve a punch in the face for letting innocent people by arrested. Everyone that doesn’t vote should be punched a second time. Fucking dicks.

  15. We have to unite and stop arresting people for consuming, possessing, and growing their own cannabis. Issue 3 does all of the above. Is it perfect? No, but nothing in life is. Compromise and let’s all move forward. In time, we can adapt a more business friendly retail model. You can do it Ohio!

  16. Toledo just made a major step in passing legislation to decriminalize however which NORML Dayton Chapter also helped. Please support other cities to do the same in the meantime…Small steps are best in this matter…Please take note that RO leaders in Dayton just made it clear that they “dont need any help” from other groups including NORML now.

  17. I was in Colorado for the legalization. The only side effect has been monster growth in the economy of the state and an over abundance of tax revenue which the state must go back to the voters to get permission to keep because of tax laws on the books. Every tax paying individual was looking at a $50 dollar reduction in income taxes

  18. Interstate commerce will be open in 10 years or less. Just keep legalizing, who cares about the small stuff. With interstate commerce if you don’t like your local weed you can just order it from somewhere else.

    The fact is, a yes vote to legalization is progress. I look forward to the future, when our federal government allows banking for the industry, when cannabis is removed from Schedule I.

  19. I really hate that it ever even had to come to this, basically acknowledging that the folks lobbying to get laws like this passed are blatantly profiteering, but it’s the lesser of two evils, so we have to go with it. I do agree that it’s definitely the lesser of two evils, especially because prohibition is already primarily a result of profiteering; crooked folks are getting money either way, it’s just a question of who gets it and how screwed the people become in the process, but…well, it still doesn’t sit right with me that we’re being forced to set aside our values like this when cannabis is a plant and its supply shouldn’t be legally controlled by anyone. I don’t like feeling like our arms are being twisted.

    But I guess we can work that out later…or at least that’s what I tell myself, that all these kinks can be worked out later. I just hope it pans out that way and we aren’t sitting here 15 years down the line looking at something we’ve gone along with during this whole process saying “Man, I wish we hadn’t compromised on that…”.

  20. Mr. Stroup and Mr. Belville, Thank you both for your support for us here in Ohio. I’ve spoken to both of you on the air during this effort and I’m so thankful two great leaders in our national reform effort saw the importance of speaking up and taking a principled stand. A grateful Ohio thanks you.

  21. I understand negotiation very well, Ive been making deals all my life but what I try and not do is make a bad deal.
    The cat is out of the bag and Ohio should wait and get in a better position before it makes a mistake by accepting the current deal.
    I can understand how you would think that something is better than nothing, but when you are dealing with governments and laws its better to get it right the first round because they will muddy up the water for everybody else when its not in their favor.
    I say dont do it..

    [Editor’s note: Ummm…Ohio voters are not negotiating to buy a used automobile, they’ve got a clear choice: extend cannabis prohibition for the foreseeable future or end it in less than two weeks (and keep the momentum going with states ending cannabis prohibition…setting up for big reforms in the 2016 election).]

  22. Though Issue 3 is not “perfect” legalization,
    it IS worth voting for!!!

    Vote YES on Issue 3

    I am in agreement w/ National NORML and
    Radical Russ Belville.
    (repeal marijuana’s “illegality” now!!!
    STOP future arrests!!!)

    However you vote on ISSUE 3,
    (YES or no),

    vote NO on ISSUE 2,
    (which is more so, actually a POISON PILL “designed” to HINDER future legalization initiatives than a way to prevent so-called “monopolies”,

    [note section of ISSUE 2’s text forbidding
    FUTURE voter initiatives from legalizing a
    federally “SCHEDULE 1 substance”]).

    There are those who plan on voting yes on both initiatives…
    [this is wrong, FATAL to the initiative process!!!]

    IF you haven’t voted already,
    vote NO on Issue 2,
    regardless of your vote / opinion on Issue 3!!!

  23. Might as well collect a win in 2015 to build momentum for 2016! Five states in the legal recpot fold = 10% of the states. More to come!

  24. Wouldn’t voting yes to initiative 3 to legalize marijuana and no to the issue that prohibits issue 3 crying “oligopoly” allow Ohio to use their voter initiative to more quickly amend their new marijuana law?
    Read the fine print. Dont vote on an angry law that spites the imperfection of the good law. It will tie Ohio up in the courts for too long. Think of the patients that need to stop their epilepsi today, not several years from now after the courts quit fartin around.
    And READ the fine print on the anti-oligarchy law. I believe it says something in there about voter initiatives which looks highly questionable to me.

    Only 3 weeks? No wonder Boehner retired!

  25. The Federal government must act now to declassify cannabis, PERIOD. Anything less by allowing states to set their own agenda only confuses the issue and continues to treat the act of possession of personal amounts and the people who enjoy it as criminals at some level. In addition to the humanitarian need to end Prohibition with declassification, squandered dollars, time, exposure and encouragement of the criminal element, loss of respect for law enforcement, and loss of tax revenue continues to pile up as politicians jockey for power. CAMPAIGN FOR DECLASSIFICATION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. Get out the vote.

  26. damn it the polls are showing issue 3 even. open your eyes ohioans if this doesnt pass and 2 does we will never get to vote on it again. dewine and the prohibitionists are using the papers to spread lies to sway the vote.this is our last chance for many years get out and vote yes. thanx norml for supporting issue 3

  27. So in other words – It may be totally corrupt but at least it’s legalization?

    Can’t we do better?

    [Editor’s note: Hard to view OH’s initiative to end cannabis prohibition as ‘corrupt’ when numerous other states also have limited production licenses for cannabis cultivation (ie, MA, VT, ME, CT, NJ, DC, IL, NM).

    Maybe a better initiative in OH could be created, funded and championed…but, unfortunately there is no precedent for such in OH as the citizens there have had no cannabis law reform since 1977. Holding out for something better will extend cannabis prohibition in the state, and if past is prologue, another 35 years will go by before a group of citizens in OH effectively organize a legalization initiative again.

    Better to end cannabis prohibition now in OH rather than hope it will happen in the future.]

  28. Zuke if you don’t think profiteering and love of money is one of the driving forces of this you’re wrong. sorry but it’s still a white man’s world. Nothing wrong with profiteering or love of money as long as it stays within ethical bounds. I love having money too.
    but this isn’t some hippie free-love pass that joint enterprise and as Keith pointed out not long ago, these laws will evolve. as soon as the general public realizes what a big deal marijuana is NOT, we’ll probably move closer to the “tomato” approach concerning marijuana. right now this is so against everything the public has had jammed into its head thanks to psa’s about frying pans and 40 year olds smoking in their parents’ basements. so it’s a huge leap for most people, especially in conservative Ohio to wrap its head around just letting adults smoke it for whatever reason they want not just medical.

  29. and as long as it’s done ethically and that includes the environment, I don’t care who makes how much money as long as the product is affordable (and the more states that go legal the more affordable it’ll be) and I can actually have a say in the strain I get and be assured it hasn’t been sitting in someone’s basement for 9 months. sooooooo tired of schwag. One thing that annoys me about the Ohio marijuana community is that everybody’s so clueless about different strains.

  30. Terrible…
    I guess it’s your opinion and I cant really criticize, if it was your state and your life your opinions would probably be different. Take the time, like so many of us here have and read the proposal you are now backing. You weren’t here when the same people came and did the same thing with the casinos. I agree with you, other states had to start off with overly strict laws and regulations but this is COMPLETELY different.

    Unlike what many have been duped into believing. This won’t just be a simple fix with another vote come the end of next year or years after. It was definitely written up masterfully with the intent to last. Every possible loop hole covered to make sure it can’t be changed or altered. They are smart I will give them that. It is definitely not written and invested in just to be changed in a year or so.

    You don’t have to wake up everyday knowing it’s one day closer to the end of your dreams and aspirations. Years and years of blood, sweat and tears that was spent working, sacrificing, fight through pain, studying, researching, etc. All so 10 investors can line their pockets while Ohioans are stuck spending years with their sub-par products and growing ignorance. Forced to spend millions to try to medicate on their garbage they know nothing about growing or caring for.

    While that may be fine for you and others, it’s not for me. Yes they have invested millions but I and many others have invested our LIVES.

    No on 2 & 3, please be smart Ohio

    [Editor’s note: Wow…you acknowledge that the initiative’s backers are really smart…but then you advocate that people in OH be dumb by keeping an expensive and immoral cannabis prohibition on the books for how many more years and decades in OH?

    “Invested our LIVES”

    Really? In OH?? Where have ya”ll been since 1977 (the last time OH’s laws for cannabis were changed for the better…which came about because of no investment other than that of former NORML board member Richard Wolf, who singularly championed decrim in OH)? LIVES invested in OH for legalization? Isn’t that a tad hyperbolic and disingenuous?

    You know who has been invested with LIVES for 45 years to end cannabis prohibition in all 50 states?


    Which is why, self evidently, the organization supports the OH legalization ballot measure put before the voters in less than two weeks…the same way that it supported the successful (and now politically game changing) AK, CO, OR, WA (and DC) ballot measures–all flawed and imperfect too.

    “My Aim Is True” –Elvis Costello
    Ending cannabis prohibition has always been NORML’s goal, not belly aching about who does or does not get rich in a post pot prohibition America. Voters in OH have a prime opportunity to not only finally end cannabis prohibition, they can greatly aid to the national momentum to reform cannabis laws, setting the stage for big political wins in 2016 in the states of CA, NV, AZ, MO, MI, MA and ME.]

  31. Thank you Russ for pushing this issue and thanks Norml for coming around and for your bold and positive support.

    Its simple, Im 44, lived in Ohio my entire life, to me this is our only chance. What I should wait another 44yrs? NO! Ive supported every state that has had any ballot measures, by donations or time over the years. Here we have a chance in Ohio, a state BTW with a very small active group of marijuana supporters, we have to take this chance and run.

    Dont forget folks, once its legal in a state where it hasnt been, police stop harassing cannabis consumers, 100% not worth police time anymore.

    Second whatever limits they have set will change, no way can 10 grow sites supply the marijuana for a state our size in population. It will all have to be revised but why not make it legal till then instead of waiting for the perfect bill that will never come!

    Beyond Ohio getting legal weed and medical in one vote. Look at what Ohio is, its a state that controls the outcome of many national elections, we have a huge population for a north mid eastern state also. Ohio could be the Key to legalizing nationally. Really if we pull this off, Ohio could be that eastern state that changes the minds of many many other states and the nation! A legal Ohio will force both sides to talk about marijuana and about their plans for it.

    Besides, Canada will make it legal and that only a Boat ride away from Ohioans, that’s a plus I guess.

    Vote No on #2 and Yes on #3

  32. Ohio-
    Beware of the Trolls like Joe spewing forth garbage. The’re either Sabet-uers or fools. Stay the course and vote yes on Issue 3; no on Issue 2.

  33. It should be remembered that there is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde perspective to the marijuana issue.

    We are being bombarded by Fear Factor hysteria about the supposed dangers of passing Issue 3, yet we have the spectacle of presidents being apparently able and qualified to be Commander and Chief despite their having consumed marijuana themselves.

    Reefer madness vs. it’s Ok to be president even if you were a marijuana smoker (with a specific exception-read on)

    President Barack Obama: Admitted using cannabis and cocaine: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10

    Former President George W. Bush: Bush refused to answer questions about past marijuana use. In a taped conversation with a friend, Bush said “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana question. You know why? ‘Cause I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G…

    Former President Bill Clinton: “When I was in England,” he said, “I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again.”http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03…

    If cannabis use is so harmful, dangerous, and ruins lives, and is made a criminal act not to be tolerated, how is it that such use and criminal behavior is not a disqualification for political office?

    It can be, but only if one is caught and prosecuted by the authorities…

    Had Clinton, Bush, or Obama been caught when experimenting with cannabis and been processed through the criminal justice system, their futures may well have been in ruin, most certainly they would not have been considered as serious candidates for political office.

    But, through luck, connections, whatever, they weren’t caught and prosecuted.
    When that is the case, giggles, snickers and knowing winks and nods, rather than condemnation, accompanies the revelation of cannabis use.

    For Clinton, Bush, and Obama to then proceed to preside over a system that criminalizes and prosecutes the common people for identical acts and behaviors they themselves participated in…is an abomination.

    In fact, it is an evil and severe injustice that demands remedy.

    Politicians reluctant to support cannabis re-legalization need to be asked in relentless fashion to square this double-standard with the right to equal protection under the law.

    Let’s not wait on the political critters…

    Vote NO on Issue 2 in order to preserve our right to alter and reform government.

    Vote YES on Issue 3 in order to RE-legalize marijuana, and put an end to a disaster of a policy that has ruined lives far more than saved them.

  34. The 3 isn’t perfect but the main thing is to get it legalized. Also like to add that it would be mush better to cultivate your own say ten plants and with some restrictions this would eliminate pot for profit which bring bad rap for the plant. IMO

  35. Yes on three is the only way to go on this vote and plant. It is a naural substitute for all of the chemicals that are offered, with all of their side effects. If it is already being used on such a wide scale, why not tax it and take it from the Mexican cartels! Our past three presidents used it and so does over half of America.

  36. You ask, “First, one might justifiably ask the authors of this measure why they would bother with medical marijuana at all. If marijuana is legal for all adults, that includes patients as well as recreational users, and it removes the need for patients to pay a physician to confirm their need for marijuana.”

    The reason is that medical marijuana could be paid for by insurance with the patient paying only a co-pay (assuming that the Controlled Substance Abuse removes marijuana as a Level II substance, an issue being currently brought before legislators). Also, different levels of marijuana are likely needed for different medical conditions or diseases. Self-medication of any substance for real medical needs is usually not a good idea.

    You further stated, “With the exception of a small medical use program that would cover those minors who have a legitimate medical need, there is no need for two separate legalization distribution systems.”

    Do you actually expect parents to give their children marijuana illegally even after this Issue 3 passes because their children have a medical need for it? Why should they still have to break the law to help their children?

    Your objections are not helpful in encouraging people to vote yes on Issue 3 in Ohio.

  37. You stated, “First, one might justifiably ask the authors of this measure why they would bother with medical marijuana at all. If marijuana is legal for all adults, that includes patients as well as recreational users, and it removes the need for patients to pay a physician to confirm their need for marijuana.”

    NORML’s website says a bill has been proposed for the Federal Government to remove marijuana from the CSA as a Level I substance. If that should pass, medical insurance would likely pay for medical marijuana eventually. And not everyone who needs medical marijuana is age 21 or older.

    You further stated, “With the exception of a small medical use program that would cover those minors who have a legitimate medical need, there is no need for two separate legalization distribution systems.”

    Do you really expect those parents whose children would benefit (or even continue to stay alive, as in seizure disorders) should have to continue to break the law or move to another state even after Issue 3 passes so that they can provide medical marijuana to their children who need it? Parents who gave marijuana to their children, even if the children were in dire need of medical marijuana, could lose their children to Child Protective Services.

    Also, why is Ohio still not listed under NORML’s “State Legislation: Legalization” listing of proposals for legalization?

    [Paul Armentano responds: “Also, why is Ohio still not listed under NORML’s “State Legislation: Legalization” listing of proposals for legalization?” Because this section of the website is specific to legislative proposals; Issue 3 is a citizens’ initiated ballot measure.]

  38. Thou I’m not for how it’s written up ,
    It helps more people then it hurts !!!
    Swallow some pride !
    Better than living on your knees .
    And living in the shadows !!
    this is Ohio and the heads of of state want division
    Divide and conquer “will you play there way .or with the people that helped . {it’s that simple }
    Yes 3 — no 2

  39. This endorsement is simply bizarre. No matter how passionately we support cannabis legalization, we must step back from single-issue politics to see Issue 3 for what it most certainly is.

    I’m sure I don’t need to elucidate for this crowd. NORML’s opportunism and cynicism here are simply disgusting. The best public policy money can buy, eh?

    One has to guffaw at Paul Armentano’s characterization (just above in the comments) of Issue 3 as “a citizens’ initiated ballot measure.” Ostensibly sober people will say most anything, even in a public forum, regardless of its lunacy.

    [Editor’s note: Or, put in a different perspective, that of genuine anti-prohibitionists, that citizens voting to extend OH’s cannabis prohibition because they disagree with the motivations of the organizing party in the state (who, accomplished leagues more in less than one year than what little activism in the state has utterly failed to accomplish in over four decades) or because they’re jealous they didn’t think of the idea first, is to extend a brutal, inefficient and immoral policy.

    Talk about lunacy.

    You may have the ‘luxury’ of such public lunacy (and left-handed support for a continuing immoral public policy), NORML (and the ACLU) does not, thankfully, for public safety, political pragmatism and moral reasons.]

  40. It’s a monopoly. How long will it pay the investors? A very long time. No thanks.

    [Editor’s note: Beyond the semantics that ten producers with dozens of sub-licensees and over 1,000 retail outlets hardly equates to a ‘monopoly…any other concerns about voting alongside narcs, pee testers and prison guards in favor of extending cannabis prohibition…probably for ‘a very long time’??

    To that terrible prospect, NORML says…’no thanks’.]

  41. “Under their current laws, roughly 12,000 Ohioans are arrested on marijuana charges each year. Does anyone really believe we should sit by waiting for a more acceptable version of legalization to magically appear, while another 60,000 to 100,000 smokers are arrested in Ohio”
    Sources please?! Ohio’s been decriminalized, most you get is = to a speeding ticket for many years now. Whose butt did you pull those numbers out of?
    “You [should] not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered.” – Lyndon Johnson, former President of the U.S

    [Editor’s note: “The ACLU of Ohio says that 14,374 Ohioans were arrested in 2012 for marijuana-related offenses, mostly possession. Those arrests cost Ohio about $120 million, and Ohio’s current pot policy is unjust and unworkable with blacks being arrested far more than whites, the group says.”]

  42. I have gone through many cancer surgeries, I now cannot speak due to a laryinectomy , they realized after radiation at 1 place it was not working so then a shoddy dr who made his chemicals in his office caused severe sickness so. I was advised to go to cancer hospital . Again severe chemo and more radiation only to find out they will remove everything in my throat area, but they told me I was poisoned by to much treatment and will be in pain for life living on multiple drugs. I am a recloos with depression until I tried medicinal candy IT WORKS for the 1 St time in 5 years no pain and I slept. Then bam my dr said he will no longer treat me if I do it again because Ohio requires him to turn people in.! Please let me know how I can help they are slowly killing me with drugs. I fought to live now please god let me have a life!!!!! I cannot do much but I will help.!the thought of no pain is out there but Ohio days suffer I’m just a dollar sign to the insurance companies .please help and God bless . I feel the conundrum of my dr he was sincere when he told me Ohio sent laws to all dr’s that they could lose there license they put the fear out there . I cannot even walk without medicine when that candy worked I did not need my normal meds, I pray and pray for help but I cannot afford to love to another state . Thank you for all your work

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