Cheat sheet: What you need to know about Ohio's proposed marijuana law
By Amelia Robinson
"Budtender" is 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Marijuana will still be against federal under law.
Not in public
Smoking pot in public would not be allowed.
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.
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.
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.