The ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization initiative has created a lot of controversy due to a provision that gives the exclusive rights to grow marijuana for profit to just ten entities. Some people refer to this as a ‘monopoly’ on marijuana cultivation, while others have said that it’s not actually a monopoly because it involves ten entities, so it should be called a ‘ten-opoly.’ The ResponsibleOhio campaign tried very hard to ensure that the word ‘monopoly’ was not on the ballot when voters vote yes or no on whether to approve marijuana legalization in Ohio. Unfortunately for the ResponsibleOhio campaign, the effort did not work. Per Cleveland.Com:
Backers of a constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in Ohio failed to convince the Ohio Supreme Court that the title tacked on the top of Issue 3 should not include the word “monopoly.”
But they won a partial victory Wednesday from the court as justices struck four provisions they found to be misleading.
As a result of the ruling, the Ohio Ballot Board will have to reconvene and revise the ballot language for the four provisions. But the name selected by Secretary of State Jon Husted — “Grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.” — will remain.
Having the word ‘monopoly’ on the ballot title will definitely hurt the chances of the initiative being passed. However, it’s worth pointing out that it won’t be the only thing that contributes to a ResponsibleOhio loss if that proves to be the case. Buddie the marijuana mascot will hurt the campaign more than the word ‘monopoly,’ in my opinion. That mascot is the worst marijuana politics tactic I have ever seen, and will no doubt be a thorn in the marijuana movement’s side during future reform efforts, which is why I support the #NoMarijuanaMascots social media campaign, and why I urge others to do the same.