Marijuana advocacy group claims 2,088 county signers


DARKE COUNTY — On June 30, the marijuana legalization advocacy group ResponsibleOhio delivered 695,273 petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, including 2,088 signatures from Darke County, to have its “Marijuana Legalization Amendment” placed on the November 2015 ballot.

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication our team has shown in gathering this many signatures,” said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. “With yesterday’s filing, ResponsibleOhio took the last critical step toward qualifying for the November 2015 ballot.”

James added, “We look forward to continuing our conversation with voters about the urgency of marijuana reform, the critical need to offer patients access to medical marijuana and the thousands of jobs that will be created by legalizing marijuana.”

By the time the legal marijuana market stabilizes in 2020, ResponsibleOhio projects that the industry will generate $554 million in new tax revenue statewide.

The group asserts that Darke County and its municipal governments are projected to receive a total of $2,120,191 in new tax revenue each year should the amendment pass.

ResponsibleOhio projects that the marijuana industry in Ohio will create ample opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment, with around 10,000 jobs predicted statewide. Under the amendment, Ohioans will have the opportunity to own and operate one of the state’s 1,150 retail stores or additional medical dispensaries, testing labs or product manufacturing facilities. There will be new employment opportunities at these facilities and at each of the state’s 10 growing facilities.

Brice Keller, an Iraq War veteran and Dayton-area attorney, praised ResponsibleOhio’s announcement, saying, “I, like so many other veterans, have struggled to find successful treatment for [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] since coming home. I firmly believe that all Ohioans should have access to medical marijuana for treatment, and that it should be fully legalized for personal use by adults 21 years of age and older. ResponsibleOhio’s amendment will do just that, and I’m proud to support it.”

The Marijuana Legalization Amendment will legalize marijuana for medical use and personal use by adults 21 years of age and older.

Another marijuana advocacy group, Ohioans to End Prohibition (OTEP) has also submitted a ballot measure, the “Cannabis Control Amendment.”

Though similar in many ways to the ResponsibleOhio measure, OTEP contends that ResponsibleOhio’s proposed amendment creates a marijuana-growing monopoly in the state.

The Cannabis Control Amendment was certified as a single ballot issue by the Ohio Ballot Board June 25. Its proponents must collect 305,591 signatures for the measure to be placed on the November ballot.