'The Big O' Among Investors in Cronyist Ohio Marijuana Legalization Scheme

Proposed ballot initiative would set up tightly regulated marijuana grow operations controlled by investors backing the initiative.


U Cincinnati Oscar Robertson statue
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Oscar Robertson, the former 12-time All-Star NBA point guard, is among the high profile investors announced by ResponsibleOhio, a group trying to get marijuana legalization on the ballot in Ohio.

There's a big catch. Via the Associated Press:

Supporters envision a network of 10 growers sending the product to designated testing facilities for safety and potency screenings. The pot would then go to either not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries, retail outlets or to be infused into various consumer products.

The backers are members of investment groups that would oversee, manage and operate its facilities, ResponsibleOhio said.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, no supporter of marijuana legalization, called ResponsibleOhio's proposal a "stupid idea" because it would establish a monopoly (solid reason) and because THC-infused candy could get in the hands of kids (stupid reason). ResponsibleOhio has until July to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot.

In addition to a "Marijuana Control Commission" and the limit on growing locations, ResponsibleOhio's plan also includes also includes a requirement that voters of a precinct approve the a marijuana retail license before its issued in the area, a 15 percent flat tax on the retail end, and a separate regime for medical marijuana users.

Related: Matt Welch on locker room liberty and Robertson's 2005 autobiography.