Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 2015
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Dayton Daily News
Author: Laura A. Bischoff


ResponsibleOhio Objects to Ballot Board Summary on Issue 3.

COLUMBUS - The latest round in a high-stakes fight over marijuana 
legalization landed in the Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday when 
ResponsibleOhio accused the Ballot Board of deliberately crafting a 
summary of State Issue 3 to "mislead, deceive or defraud the voters."

In a 139-page filing, ResponsibleOhio attorneys Larry James and Andy 
Douglas said the issue summary language approved by the ballot board 
last week on a 3-2 vote is "fatally defective through false and 
material omissions, inaccuracies, and argumentative language."

ResponsibleOhio wants the court to invalidate the issue summary 
language and either tell the board to do-over or use the amendment 
summary that was approved by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for 
the campaign's petition drive.

ResponsibleOhio is also contesting the State Issue 3 title, picked by 
Secretary of State Jon Husted, that says "Grants a monopoly for the 
commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and 
medicinal purposes."

Issue 3 is a constitutional amendment to legalize and regulate 
marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, allow limited home 
grow, and designate 10 parcels controlled by ResponsibleOhio 
investors as the only commercial marijuana growing sites.

Husted said in a written statement on Thursday: "There is no better 
way to describe State Issue 3 than to say it is a monopoly that 
grants exclusive rights to a certain group of people - rights that 
would not be afforded to every other Ohioan."

The word monopoly fits, he said. "The backers of State Issue 3 could 
have easily prevented Ohioans from calling their plan a marijuana 
monopoly by choosing to not write their plan as a marijuana 
monopoly." Husted opposes Issue 3. ResponsibleOhio's attorneys have 
three main issues with the summary language: it misleads voters to 
believe adults will be permitted to purchase and transport more than 
half a pound of marijuana; it falsely says marijuana businesses will 
be allowed to operate within 1,000 feet of churches, parks and 
schools; and it omits the fact that retail stores will need local 
voter approval to open.

Douglas, a former supreme court justice now working for 
ResponsibleOhio, said the ballot board purposely lumped together the 
home grow and retail purchase amounts and rules to imply that adults 
would be allowed to purchase, transport and share more than half a 
pound of pot.

Pro-pot mascot heads to college campuses

Meanwhile, ResponsibleOhio trotted out 'Buddie' - a superhero mascot 
with a green head shaped like a marijuana bud - to visit college 
campuses and attract Ohioans 21 and older to vote for Issue 3. Buddie 
has six-pack abs, big muscles and a permanent smile plastered on his 
face. The character looks like a buff, happy Grinch.

Buddie is traveling to campuses on ResponsibleOhio's weed bus - a 
rented RV that is visiting all 88 counties. The bus has already 
visited some campuses, including University of Toledo, and is slated 
to hit more next week, including Miami University.

"This demonstrates a troubling lack of good judgment for a group that 
hopes to win exclusive control over the sale of marijuana in Ohio," 
said Jen Detwiler, spokeswoman for opposition campaign, Ohioans 
Against Marijuana Monopolies.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom