Despite Russo’s accusations, I’m not voting yes on Issue #6 simply because I don’t want to drive to Indiana to play poker.

Yes, I may enjoy playing poker, but it takes a lot more than just laziness to get me to vote for something. Let me put it this way…

I would also vote to legalize marijuana even though I don’t smoke it.

I would also vote to legalize and regulate prostitution even though I’m not going to pay for sex.

I would also vote to legalize same-sex marriage even though I’m already married to a woman and have no intention of marrying another dude.

I’m not voting yes on Issue #6 because I’m lazy – I’m voting yes because I don’t think the state has the right to regulate my morality.

  • Modern Esquire

    First of all, the State doesn’t have rights. People have rights. The State only has power limited by the rights of the people.

    Second, possession of marijuana and soliciting prostitution (as you point out) are in fact legal. So, the issue as to whether the State has the power to legislate morality
    has been established and you’ve lost!

    Title 29 of the Ohio Revised Code, our criminal courts and prisons are nothing more than an attempt by the State to regulate your morality.

    Our state and federal securities laws are nothing more than an attempt to regulate white collar workers morality.

    Tax codes that reward charitable giving is an attempt by the State to regulate your morality.

    Civil suits in the court is an attempt by the State to regulate morality.

    So, unless you want to scrap the state and federal criminal justice system and replace it with nothing. Disband the SEC and let Wall Street truly be unregulated, and implement a flat tax, then you’re going to have to accept that on some level government is regulating your morality.

  • Dana

    A libertarian approach to gambling is the reason I voted in favor of one of the amendments a few years back. This isn’t a legalization amendment. It’s amending the Constitution to give a monopoly to a private corporation. That’s just wrong, and it sets a bad precedent. The equivalent would be amending the Constitution to say that Seagram’s may sell marijuana but Budweiser may not.

  • Swany


    Glad to see that at least one other Ohioan took the libertarian approach to this idea. People gamble in Ohio everyday, and they are going to continue to do so with or without this casino. The fact that we allow some forms of gambling (lottery, keno, bingo, etc.) in this state and not others is beyond silly. We tried to legislate those “skill game” parlors out of existence, yet they changed their machines and popped right back up. So, we are better off just opening a casino and giving these gamblers a place to go.

  • Possession of marijuana IS illegal in Ohio (2925.11). So is soliciting prostitution (l2907.24).

  • Modern Esquire

    I meant to say illegal. Don’t confuse point out a typo as a rebuttal.

  • Ah! I totally misread your post then. I wasn’t trying to be cute.

    So yes, the State does have the power to restrict and regulate my behavior when necessary to protect someone else’s rights.

    Obviously we need criminal courts to protect the rights guaranteed us by the Ohio Constitution: “enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.”

    But which of those rights are anti-gambling laws intended to protect?

    Before you answer I’d like to remind you that certain forms of gambling (i.e the lottery) actually are legal in Ohio. And the state makes millions of dollars a year from operating its gambling monopoly.

  • Modern Esquire

    Well, first, the Ohio Lottery was passed with consent of the people by way of referendum. Those same voters, however, have since routinely defeated countless attempts to expand gambling further. To the extent there’s some inconsistentcy, it exists because the people have willed to exist.

    Second, the criminal code is not designed solely to protect your constitutional rights at all. If that were the case, what would be the basis of laws against marijuana or prostitution. No, the State’s criminal code can be downright paternalistic, designed to protect the individual and the rest of public’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

    Think about seat belt or helmet laws, for example. Motor vehicle statutes that require certain safety equipment and operational stability.

    You’ve asked me to respond to a premise I’ve implicitly rejected and ignored the one I’ve made- criminal codes like, hate crime laws, are moral judgments, and as such, enforcement of them is the attempt of the State to regulate your morality.

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