Sam Howzit

ResponsibleOhio Organization is Dead, Founder Says

The Ohio group in charge of Issue 3, the state’s recent attempt to legalize cannabis, has been dissolved and will not be returning next year with an amended legalization plan, as was originally promised. The group had also proposed a law that would have allowed Ohioans convicted of marijuana offenses to request their records be expunged or destroyed, but this move — the so-called ‘Fresh Start Act’ — was called off as well.

“We spent a lot of money, a lot of time, and we heard what the public said,” said ResponsibleOhio founder Jimmy Gould during a press conference. In fact, ResponsibleOhio investors spent $20 million on the 2015 election, and yet suffered defeat with only 34 percent in favor and 64 percent opposed.

Ultimately, it appeared that Ohio voters were not necessarily against the legalization cannabis, but were more opposed to ResponsibleOhio’s controversial plan to limit the state’s commercial cannabis production to solely the 10 anonymous investors who stepped in at the start of the campaign.

Now, key members from the political action group have come together under a task force led by Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) to establish a legislative plan for the legalization of medical cannabis.

Gould explained, “ResponsibleOhio is not a part of this; it doesn’t exist. Fresh Start is not existing anymore. We’re here as a group, all of us, to come up with the best solution.”

According to Schuring, the goal is to bring as many people to the table for a real conversation about medical cannabis. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” Schuring said. “I just know that it’s going to be a fair and open process where all can be involved.”

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