June 19, 2015

Ohio Marijuana Campaign’s Voter Registrations Are Being Questioned

June 19, 2015
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Says It's Time to Decriminalize Marijuana

ohio marijuanaThe ResponsibleOhio campaign seeks to legalize marijuana for adults in Ohio. The campaign has received a lot of criticism because it only allows ten entities to grow marijuana for profit if the initiative passes. The initiative didn’t have a home grow provision at first, but a provision was added to allow home grow after the campaign received a lot of feedback. I know that a lot of orgs and prominent activists have came out publicly opposing the initiative, while others have refrained from opposing it, but haven’t issued an endorsement yet. To be fair, I haven’t seen any organization or prominent activist that has opposed the measure step up and promise to bring a better initiative in the future, complete with language polling and sufficient funding.

I will be the first to admit that the initiative is far from perfect. There are certainly provisions that I don’t like. However, I don’t like every provision of prohibition, and I have always said that I will support any effort that moves us away from prohibition. I will obviously continue to push for better legalization models, but I don’t think that just because an initiative isn’t perfect that it should be instantly condemned until a perfect one comes along in the future, if at all.

The Ohio campaign experienced a setback this week when the Ohio Secretary of State told election officials to heavily scrutinize voter registrations that were gathered by a company the campaign hired. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Ohio’s secretary of state told election officials to scrutinize new voter registrations submitted by a group pushing a marijuana legalization measure in the state, accusing a company hired to gather signatures of “sloppiness” and potentially fraudulent activity.

Jon Husted, the secretary of state, said he’s received reports that submissions by The Strategy Network contained non-existent addresses, illegible signatures and underage registrants, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Associated Press.

The Strategy Network is collecting signatures for ResponsibleOhio’s campaign to legalize medical and recreational cannabis.

ResponsibleOhio head Ian James said he’s received no indication from Husted’s office that any problems existed and that he’s “flummoxed” by the announcement, the AP reported. The group said it’s gathered more than 550,000 signatures, well over what’s needed to get its legalization proposal on the ballot.

I don’t live in Ohio, so I leave the decision to vote for or against the Ohio initiative to the citizens of that state. I of course live in Oregon, where marijuana is about to be legal starting next month. Measure 91 received a lot of scrutiny when it was on the ballot, and there are still people out there that wish it had never passed. But it was clearly better than prohibition, and so I voted for it.

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