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Monday, October 19, 2015

Ohio Rights Group Endorses Issue 3

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 10:27 AM

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We generally don't get involved in reporting on the endorsement game — except for those weird instances where media conglomerates delete dubious video footage of Gov. John Kasich or a longtime foe of the ResponsibleOhio folks suddenly endorses their ballot measure.

The latter, this week: Ohio Rights Group, an organization that has championed medicinal marijuana legalization since at least 2013, has endorsed ResponsibleOhio's Issue 3 (which is appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot). 

This is big news, because the ORG team has criticized the ResponsibleOhio team and its political approach all year. But, like others in the state, ORG top brass sees Issue 3 as a means justified by the end result of legal medical marijuana in Ohio.

From the Athens News

The group officers, President Mary Jane Borden and Vice President John Pardee, said that while good people can disagree about the temporary business structure the ResponsibleOhio amendment puts in place, “they all need to realize we are not likely to see an opportunity like this to end prohibition in Ohio in the foreseeable future.”

After speaking with national cannabis-reform groups, Borden and Pardee wrote, they realized Ohio is nowhere in those groups’ near-term or long-term strategic plans.

Athens-area attorney Don Wirtshafter, who had acted as ORG's legal counsel, left the group following the decision. As he explained to the News: “Since my advice wasn’t followed, I had to leave the group. I think it’s capitulation to personal interest, is my opinion. [ORG Vice President John Pardee] really wanted to be part of this new economy, and too many people like John are worried about missing the bus in case this thing actually passes.”




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