Pubdate: Sat, 15 Aug 2015
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Dayton Daily News
Author: Alan Johnson


Coalition Plans Monday Kickoff.

Faction to Include Medical, Business and Faith Groups.

Children are likely to be a big part of the campaigns both for and 
against marijuana legalization in Ohio.

The location of Monday's 2 p.m. campaign kickoff by a coalition 
opposing ResponsibleOhio's for-profit legalization plan is a 
giveaway: Nationwide Children's Hospital.

While slow in developing, the still-forming coalition is touted as 
farreaching by state Rep. Mike Curtin, D-Marble Cliff, a militant 
opponent of ResponsibleOhio's plan to make marijuana legal for 
personal consumption and medicinal use.

"It's going to be a very, very impressive coalition, as broad and 
diverse as this state has ever seen on an issue campaign," Curtin said.

The anti-pot coalition is likely to include medical and professional 
organizations, businesses, faith groups, and children's health 
advocates, among others.

The event comes a day before Tuesday's showdown at the Ohio Ballot 
Board where crucial wording will be worked out for the marijuana 
amendment voters will see at the Nov. 3 election.

Curtin hinted at the direction of the opposition campaign at a 
Wednesday evening meeting of Franklin County Democrats.

"It's a special threat to children," Curtin said. "This amendment 
would allow them without limit to sell any type of marijuana-infused 
edible, marijuana cookies, brownies, lollipops, gummy bears. People 
who have child welfare in mind should be concerned about this thing."

Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, countered at the 
same meeting by praising the medical benefits of marijuana, 
especially for children with epilepsy.

A video on the organization's website discusses medical uses of the 
drug for cancer sufferers, epileptic children, Alzheimer's patients 
and military veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other groups that have come out against ResponsibleOhio include the 
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio 
Manufacturers' Association, which on Thursday said it opposes the 
proposal because it would grant "business monopolies, undermine free 
market competition, and potentially also compromise workplace safety."

Dispatch Reporter Bill Bush contributed to this story.
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