'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
Steven Shundich/flickr

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.

NEXT: Virginia State Legislator: "We found out that having a monopoly is really cool."

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  1. Anyone else see big O and instantly think Oprah? I was so let down.

  2. It’s a proven business model.

    1. Uh, yeah?

      Beer Distributors = state-regulated monopoly

      I keep telling people that the post-prohibition-playbook has a million dimensions to it that are – in some ways – more depressing from a libertarian POV than the ‘black market’

      cronies gonna crony

  3. Party of Robber Barons

    I don’t know why Romney decided not to run, but I have a hunch. He couldn’t escape the narrative that tainted his 2012 presidential campaign: that he was an out-of-touch elitist who made a career doing business at the expense of the American worker.
    Unfortunately, Bush has the same problem. Here are just a few examples:

    They both have held leadership roles in financial firms which brokered deals that hurt people. We all know that Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election in large part due to the human stories that resulted from Bain Capital’s actions as a private equity firm: taking over companies, ripping them apart, selling them for parts and costing American jobs.
    Bush’s business dealings may not be as well known, but he is just as tied to private equity companies that caused pain for real people.

    Economic efficiency is bad. Jennifer Granholm, ladies and gentlemen.

  4. And-

    They both supported the bank bailout, but opposed the auto bailout. Romney and Bush both supported the bailout of the banks, but when it came to protecting America’s manufacturing backbone, the automobile companies, neither hesitated to let them go bankrupt. Remember, Romney authored an op-ed in the New York Times titled ” Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
    According to the Tampa Bay Times, Bush was “in line with Romney,” when he “told the [House Budget] committee he didn’t support the auto bailout.” I’m really glad neither of them was in the White House at the time, or else Romney’s wishes might have come true and our automobile industry wouldn’t have made the incredible comeback it has.

    If Romney had been President, we’d all be riding in donkey carts!

    1. Donkey carts? Why the fuck would the Democrats be employed and not the GOP?

      Are you saying that a howdah on an elephant is some sort of mass transit?

    2. “deals that hurt people”

      This is like pointing out that “legalizing the internet put mailmen out of business”

  5. Anything that gets legal weed closer to here, I favor.

  6. A couple yrs. ago I’d’ve said if that’s what it takes to get it legal, then deal, but now I think a much better “deal” can be struck.

  7. the simple answer is to get marijane classified as a vaccine.

  8. This is the worst cannabis legalization measure I’ve heard of. Honestly, its mere existence is a setback to legalization in Ohio, because if it passes, you get a government-regulated cartel, and if it doesn’t pass, it might take a while to get something more reasonable on the ballot. I’m hoping it fails to even get enough signatures. :/

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