Full on disclaimer: I do not smoke marijuana. I am drug tested regularly at my place of employment. This is purely my personal opinion, and does not reflect my employers’ views/opinions/positions in any way.
Here in Ohio, lots of conversations are being started about marijuana. Thanks to other states rolling out the legalization game, Ohio is now entertaining the possibility of joining their ranks, and raking in the potential tax money. Seems like a great idea, for example, just look at Colorado. They are sleeping on mattresses of Mary Jane’s tax money. Well done. That’s why you will always be ColoRADo.
All other state talk aside, you might be wondering about this post’s title. Pro Pot, Anti Responsible Ohio. Responsible Ohio is a group trying to get marijuana legalization on this year’s ballot. They are pushing out lots of great media, have a super slick website, and are saying all the right things. However…
At first I liked the idea. I have always felt that if alcohol were legal, then why not marijuana? But the more I read about Responsible Ohio, the more I do not care for it. Here are a couple reasons:
Monopoly, or rather Oligopoly, or even further, a cartel.
Responsible Ohio is calling for only ten growing farms. Ten for the entire state. All of which are owned by groups of very wealthy individuals. Responsible Ohio claims their plan in not a monopoly, which is correct, but it is a oligopoly. Few individuals running the pot game. No small town farmers will be able to supplement their usual crops with a harvest of marijuana. That is absurd.
I am not a fan of changing the state’s constitution, creating a legal cartel, and making rich folks richer. Some people will point to Ohio’s recent Issue 3, which legalized gambling in the Buckeye State, for only a select group with a total of only four casinos. Want to open your own casino, sorry, not going to happen here in Ohio. I was okay with that. Why? Most people are not wanting to go out and open a casino. Starting a farm would be more accessible to a greater percentage of Ohioans than starting a casino. Farming is a very fickle business, and most that I know are scraping just to get by. Having their normal rotation of crops, plus the bonus of a potential marijuana crop would help them out tremendously.
For that reason, I feel the Issue 3 argument is invalid.
Grow your own? Well, kinda.
Under Responsible Ohio’s plan, you are allowed to possess four flowering plants, and eight ounces of consumable marijuana for private use. I do think there needs to be some sort of limit, almost like home brewing, but this limit seems low when compared to alcohol, which is two hundred gallons per household, or one hundred gallons for the individual. That is a lot of home-brew! Now, back to eight ounces…
If the limit were not enough, you also need to fill out some paperwork, and pay a $50 fee for a growing license. A legal crop that requires a permit? That is absurd.
Overall, I am glad this conversation has begun in Ohio, but unfortunately I cannot vote for Responsible Ohio. Do away with the limited farms owned by a legal cartel, remove the home grow fee and push up the home grown amount to be comparable to alcohol, and that would make it more appealing to me. Or better yet, it needs to be legalized federally, but that is a different topic altogether.
Unfortunately, I see most folks not looking past the word, “Legal.” Do yourself a favor, and become an educated voter.
The future will thank you.