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Marijuana Backers Prepare for 2016 Legalization Efforts

Walker Evans Walker Evans Marijuana Backers Prepare for 2016 Legalization Efforts
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Hot on the heels of the defeat of yesterday’s statewide ballot issue that would have legalized marijuana in Ohio through the creation of an industry monopoly, a separate effort is already under way to get a new constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters in 2016.

“Poll after poll shows that Ohioans are overwhelmingly in favor of legalization, but this year’s initiative failed because a greed-driven monopoly plan is wrong for the state of Ohio,” stated administrators of the Legalize Ohio 2016 Facebook page last night. “Some activists were let down tonight because they put their faith in a bad plan, but their efforts have brought us a step closer to legalizing marijuana in 2016. We look forward to working with them and communities across Ohio to pass a pro-legalization proposal the right way for our state.”

The group explains on their website that they’re currently in the final phase of gathering signatures to support what they call an “ethical, comprehensive, common sense cannabis law” that will provide Ohioans with full health, environmental and monetary gains through the legalization of marijuana production and consumption:

“Legalize Ohio 2016 is committed to the free market. The Cannabis Control Amendment provides the lowest possible barriers of entry into the legal cannabis market. This allows the opportunity of innovation as well as entrepreneurship to the most Ohioans in this viable industry. Our amendment would tax marijuana at the grower level by weight, and apply a small retail tax of 5% at the point of sale. This tax would be waived for qualifying patients. In placing an excise tax at the first part of the chain, the amendment will lessen the tax burden on secondary producers and retail stores, avoiding the pitfalls of over-supply and nurturing small businesses while allowing the retail sector to effectively compete and quickly overtake the black market. The ArcView Group, arguably the most respected marijuana venture capital firm in the United States, evaluates Ohio’s market at close to $1 billion dollars. With new sectors of growth happening in both marijuana and hemp markets in Ohio, the projected income to Ohioans upon passage of the Legalize Ohio 2016 amendment could eclipse that figure within a few years of implementation. A legal marijuana and hemp economy could provide entry and advanced level jobs in all sectors of production- from seed to sale and everything in between.”

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