Add this to Ohio’s marijuana mix: Attorney General Mike DeWine said today he has his staff
looking into a medical marijuana proposal.
The Dispatch that the proposal would be “very limited” and “tightly controlled.” He did
not offer details.
DeWine, a Republican who opposes broad legalization of marijuana for personal use, wouldn’t
commit to saying he supports legalizing medical marijuana, but he said there are people who
definitely could use it. He said he is having his staff work up a proposal before consulting with
DeWine blasted the ResponsibleOhio campaign, which appears headed for the Nov. 3 ballot, as “
outrageous” and a “total manipulation of the system.”
“It is a group of people who have a lot of money who want to make a lot more money,” he said.
ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment, if passed, would allow investment groups
who put up millions of dollars for the campaign to have exclusive rights to build 10 marijuana
growing sites. There would also be processing centers and up to 1,000 retail locations. Sales of
marijuana to those 21 and older would be taxed at all levels, with the proceeds going mostly to
county and local governments. The proposal also includes a medical marijuana provision.
Auditor Dave Yost has proposed yet another approach — a constitutional
amendment to require a more restrictive, two-step process for groups such as ResponsibleOhio from
proposing issues tied to economic interests that are aimed at the Ohio Constitution. The marijuana
issue follows a path carved out by casino backers who were successful in securing voter approval of
a constitutional amendment allowing four privately owned casinos in the state.
DeWine said the “broad concept” of limiting economic access to the constitution is “very
good,” but he has not thoroughly studied it.