Pubdate: Tue, 18 Aug 2015
Source: Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Copyright: 2015 Associated Press
Author: Ann Sanner, Associated Press


COLUMBUS (AP) - Those on both sides of a marijuana legalization 
proposal in Ohio were looking ahead to the fall election on Monday, 
with supporters announcing a statewide tour and opponents formally 
launching their campaign to defeat the issue.

Passage of the proposed amendment on Nov. 3 would make Ohio a rare 
state to go from entirely outlawing marijuana to allowing it for all 
uses in a single vote.

Under the proposal, adults 21 and older could purchase marijuana for 
medicinal or recreational use and grow four plants for personal use. 
It creates a network of 10 authorized growing locations around the 
state (including one in Lorain), some that have already attracted 
private investors, and lays out a regulatory and taxation scheme for cannabis.

The group ResponsibleOhio, which brought the issue to the ballot, 
said Monday it will promote its plan statewide from a bright green, 
camperlike vehicle adorned with marijuana leaves and phrases such as 
"YES on legalization." Backers will travel to all 88 counties ahead 
of Election Day, stopping at college campuses, local landmarks and 
town squares to tell voters "the high points of why marijuana reform 
is so needed in our state," said Faith Oltman, a ResponsibleOhio spokeswoman.

The tour announcement came hours before critics of the proposal 
gathered at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus to announce 
their opposition campaign.

The so-called Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies includes business 
groups, hospitals, medical providers, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation 
and others. State lawmakers, faith leaders, former state Attorney 
General Betty Montgomery and former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann 
Davidson also joined the coalition for its announcement.

Among other concerns, opponents say the proposal would put children's 
health at risk because it would increase their access to edible-pot 
products, such as candies, cookies and brownies.

Reggie Fields, a spokesman for the Ohio State Medical Association, 
said the organization could not see "any healthy lifestyle benefit 
from the recreational use of marijuana."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom