Some might argue that Ohio has already gone to pot under John Kasich, measured by his regressive actions on renewable wind energy, forcing local communities to do more with less funding, forcing women to make terrible choices they don’t have to make in other states, shifting taxes to those still struggling to pay for reduced income tax rates that overwhelmingly benefit the very wealthy, and other policies and programs focused on favoring private over public interests.

And while that’s one legitimate view of how Ohio is going to pot, a totally new one that’s really about pot, one slang term for marijuana, is ready to unfold next year as one activist group works to give voters a chance to end marijuana prohibition in another year. If successful, ResponsibleOhio, a group formed to end marijuana prohibition, will make using marijuana for medical and personal use legal for adults 21-years old and older if voters approve a ballot initiative.

“Marijuana for medical and personal use should be a choice made by licensed physicians and adults 21 and older in this state. We are going to end this failed prohibition,” said Lydia Bolander, a spokesperson for the campaign. “Legalizing marijuana for medical and personal use means increased safety because we will regulate, tax and treat marijuana like alcohol,” Bolander said. “We will smother the black market and use the taxes generated to help local communities provide vital public services.”

Bolander said what’s needed is compassion to ensure patients receive treatment. If the campaign works out as ResponsibleOhio wants it to, jobs will be created in the agricultural, wholesale and retail marketplace, which backers say will drive research at state universities and hospitals. “We will have 10 tightly regulated, heavily taxed growing locations. Small business owners will be able to create good jobs and open retail locations with the approval of local voters so we are ensuring local control for communities,” Bolander said in as media release.

Ohio will have the benefit of the experience Coloradans have now that growing and selling marijuana is legal in the Centennial State. Bolander says marijuana will be decriminalized, so lives are no longer destroyed and free law enforcement officers to spend their time investigating and arresting real criminals. “This is about safety, personal freedom, healthy choices, jobs and tax dollars for our communities,” Bolander said.

Gov. John Kasich has made his so-called expression of “compassion” for poor people a central theme. In the last days of his reelection race for governor this year, Kasich promised the best is yet to come in the second half of his administration. It’s impossible to think Mr. Kasich won’t speak out against ResponsibleOhio’s plans, given the governor’s support for traditional Republican anti-marijuana ideology.

Marijuana is legal or partially legal in 27 states as of Nov. 2014, which is up from 23 states in 2013. In 1999, while still a congressman, he voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. Mr. Kasich has previously weigh-ed in on drug use, saying, “Go ahead and turn off MTV when ‘The Osbournes’ comes on, and refuse to celebrate the drug-filled lifestyle it depicts.”

Mr. Kasich talks often about “lifting people” up and our of the “shadows.” Helping patients receive media treatment by using marijuana would be a real demonstration of lifting people up.

Voters statewide will have a chance to stop the prohibition that’s faced marijuana following the demonization and criminalization of the drug and its use eight decades or so ago.

  • jr6020

    Sorry, fellow progressives…but I come down against legalizing this stuff. No one can dispute it contains known carcinogens and can pose long term health risks. For medicinal purposes and relief of cancer pain, I have no problem with its use. But to make pot legal like it is in Colorado, I will vote No…

  • Jeff deutsch

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement and the judiciary agree that the need to legalize Marijuana immediately is one of the most important moral issues of our time.

    Beginning several years ago, they formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement and judicial professionals, from all over the world, called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.

    Please see

    As a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped may Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.
    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.
    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.
    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.
    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safe alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

  • TJsClone

    A specious argument.
    Living a normal life without smoking or drinking alcohol “can pose long term health risks.” Driving a car can pose immediate health risks. We’re born to die. May as well enjoy it with a common weed.

  • Immortal Illumined

    the people of OHIO would rather you suffer and die in pain or lock you in jail before allowing access to the natural relief you need, PURE EVIL…..

    decades behind us, you have no leaders nor freedom……..nor heart and soul

  • Immortal Illumined

    0 deaths ever….that’s never…..and it will be legal everywhere in this country very soon…….very soon

    hope your enjoying the marijuana domination this year….

  • Brion Eduardo

    I hope that you will move to Singapore, ISIS Islamia, or some other place that your values matter before a real vote on this issue comes up.

  • Brion Eduardo

    There’s no reason to legalize with the crony capitalists. This proposal needs to be shot down, and quickly, then replaced with a better proposal. And you already know I’m a legalizer.

  • Brion Eduardo

    I agree, but what about the issue at hand? There’s more to legalization advocacy than simply copying the same comment to every article.

  • Brion Eduardo

    I am NOT enjoying the ominous prospect of crony capitalism taking over the legalization movement in Ohio. That’s what this is about.

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