Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ohio Rights Group now backs Issue 3

Pro-medical marijuana Ohio Rights Group endorses Issue 3 | - Jackie Borchard, Northeast Ohio Media Group:

October 13, 2015 - "The state's largest pro-medical marijuana group has endorsed Issue 3, the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical and recreational marijuana sales and use in Ohio.... Issue 3, on the ballot this fall, would legalize recreational and medical marijuana, but commercial marijuana could only be grown on 10 sites belonging to investors bankrolling the initiative.

"The organization was an outspoken opponent of Issue 3 and ResponsibleOhio, the political action committee bankrolling the initiative. Ohio Rights Group even filed an elections commission complaint claiming ResponsibleOhio leaders 'infiltrated' their campaign and undermined Ohio Rights Group's petitioning efforts....

"ORG Vice President John Pardee said the group would likely never receive the funding to pay for signature collectors and qualify for the ballot. Pardee said other legalization proposals planned for 2016, including one by Ohioans to End Prohibition, also lack the support needed to qualify for the ballot.

"Pardee said ORG would be doing patients a disservice to campaign against Issue 3 without a viable alternative and called Ohioans to End Prohibition's campaign absolute farce'....

"Sri Kavuru, president of Ohioans to End Prohibition, said ... 'He knows nothing of what is going on in our organization and we have plenty of time to make it to the ballot'....

"Pardee said no money or financial benefits were promised in exchange for ORG's support, but the group did seek concessions from ResponsibleOhio.

"Pardee said ORG has agreements with four of the 10 growing sites to lease space for 'artisanal' marijuana growers and a plan to appoint an ombudsman to lobby on behalf of patients while the industry is established.... Neither aspect is in the proposed amendment, but Pardee was confident in agreements made with ResponsibleOhio....

"Ohio Rights Group joins national NORML and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio as the major proponents of Issue 3."

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