Ohio MJ Campaign to Push ‘Free Market’ Measure

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The architect of the biggest failure in modern marijuana politics has vowed to change his ways and come back with a proposal that will win over voters and the cannabis industry at large.

Ian James – executive director of ResponsibleOhio, the group behind a failed bid to legalize marijuana in Ohio earlier this month – acknowledged that the campaign’s ballot initiative was deeply flawed.

But he promised to get a revamped legalization measure back on the ballot in 2016 that will create more of a “free market” system that will open the door for many entrepreneurs to own and operate cultivation facilities, James wrote in an “open letter” to Ohio residents.

The measure will also allow for home grows without a permit and pave the way for hemp cultivation.

The revised plan seeks to ensure “that the industry is treated like other businesses in regards to taxation,” James wrote.

James ran the 2015 campaign in Ohio in an attempt to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, but the proposal lost at the polls by a colossal margin.

ResponsibleOhio’s biggest mistakes, James said, were its mascot “Buddie” and a provision in its proposal that would allow for only 10 cultivation operations, which all would have been owned by wealthy campaign backers.

The cultivation provision angered many entrepreneurs who would’ve been blocked out from one of the most lucrative parts of the cannabis industry.

“We accept responsibility for our mistakes and have committed ourselves to building greater awareness and consensus,” James wrote. “Ohioans now more clearly understand that marijuana legalization will create a multibillion-dollar industry.”