Cheat sheet: What you need to know about Ohio's proposed marijuana law

By Amelia Robinson

Staff Writer

"Budtenderis a term Dayton Daily News political reporter Laura Bischoff has learned a lot about in last few days.

"Your budtender steers you to whatever high you want," she explained.

Bischoff spent the earlier part of this week visiting Mary Jane businesses in Seattle, Wash., for an upcoming article related to the campaign to legalize marjuana here.

If voters approve the Constitutional amendment pushed by ResponsibleOhio, there would without a doubt be openings in this state for that and other careers in the icky sticky industry.

Bud

An employee helps a customer smelling the scent of marijuana for sale on opening day of a new outlet of the Colorado Harvest Company recreational marijuana stores in Aurora, Colo., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

 

If passed, the Buckeye State will join Alaska, Washington, Colorado and Oregon, plus the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use. Twenty-three states allow the use of medical marijuana.

Ohio would be the first state to legalize it for medial and recreational use at the same time.

Bischoff boils down what makes the proposed Ohio law controversial to this: a limit of 10 designated commercial grow sites and the law being pushed by investors.

Below are a few things to know about the proposal based on Bischoff's reporting.

Find it all here.

You can learn more in person next week.

Our partners at the Dayton Daily News, WHIO Radio, Newscenter 7 and the Dayton Area League of Women Voters will host a free Marijuana: Ohio Decides Town Hall Forum Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Sinclair Community College, 444 W. Third St. in downtown Dayton.

I've been touring marijuana businesses in Seattle this week for an upcoming story on Ohio's vote on whether to legalize weed. I have never seen so many pot plants in my entire life.

A photo posted by Laura Bischoff (@lauraannbischoff) on

What you need to know about the proposal:

No school zone

If approved, the 10 grow sites will have to be 1,000 feet from schools, day care centers, churches and libraries.

Controlling agency

A Marijuana Control Commission would regulate growing, sales, distribution, licensing and taxing of marijuana products.

There will be five test facilities to monitor potency and safety.

Wholesale medical Mary Jane 

Not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries will sell pot to patients at wholesale prices.

$554 million in tax revenue estimated 

There will be a 15 percent flat tax on pot sales. Eighty-five percent of the tax revenue will go to local governments for services. ResponsibleOhio has estimated $554 million will be generated in annual tax revenue.

50 joint limit


Buddie

Marijuana plants that were seized during a bust Aug. 25, 2015, in Shelby County, according to the sheriff's office. CONTRIBUTED

 

Those 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of pot at a time. There are roughly 28 grams in an ounce. A joint is about a half a gram. An ounce of weed would make about 50 joints.

License to grow

Adults 21 and older can get a state license to grow and share as many as four flowering plants at a time. The plants would have to be grown indoors in areas children cannot access.

Still illegal

Buddie

Gwinnett County police/AJC

 

Marijuana will still be against federal under law.

Not in public

Smoking pot in public would not be allowed.

At work

Buddie

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

 

Employers can prohibit the use of marijuana in the work place except for those with doctor's notes for medial marijuana.

Retail shops would be approved by local voters. Shops will be limited to one per 10,000 people and cannot be within 1,000 feet of playgrounds, schools, libraries, houses of worship or day care centers.

Responsible who?

Buddie

ReponsibleOhio's mascot Buddie. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson

 

The ResponsibleOhio campaign consultants includes Ian James of The Strategy Network, Republican lobbyist Neil Clark, Cincinnati area attorney Chris Stock, former Akron Beacon Journal reporter Dennis Willard, Columbus-based elections law attorney Don McTigue, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas and Columbus-based attorney Larry James.

Investors include former pro sports agent James Gould and his sister Barbara Gould of Cincinnati; former NBA star Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati; New York fashion designer Nanette Lepore, formerly of Youngstown; Arizona Cardinals player Frostee Rucker; Hallmark Campus Communities president Rick Kirk; Secret Communications head Frank Wood of Cincinnati; investment consultant Alan Mooney of Columbus; Dr. Suresh Gupta of Dayton; William Foster of A-1 Quality Logistical Solutions; William “Cheney” Pruett and John Humphrey of DMP Investments; Kenneth R. Campbell of Mason; and former boy band singer Nick Lachey. Investors have raised more than $28 million according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Plenty of opposition

Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, Drug Free Action Alliance, Gov. John Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Auditor Dave Yost, Treasurer Josh Mandel, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and some of the pro-grass advocates are against this proposed amendment. The pot supporters don’t like the structure of ResponsibleOhio’s plan.

The Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies coalition includes hospitals, business groups and other opponents.

#DontPassGo #NoOn3

Posted by No on Issue 3 on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What's the deal with issue 2

The Ohio General Assembly based constitutional amendment would block commercial interests from installing monopolies, cartels or other business advantages in the Ohio Constitution and prevent Issue 3 from taking effect, even if it passes.

Some lawmakers and state officials say Issue 2 would trump Issue 3 if both passed, but it is highly likely that the matter would be decided by a court.