OH Legalization Campaign Sabotage Allegation Tossed

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A complaint filed by one marijuana legalization campaign against another in Ohio was dismissed unanimously on Thursday by the Ohio Elections Commission, which ruled that it doesn’t have jurisdiction in the matter.

The Ohio Rights Group (ORG), which filed the complaint last month against ResponsibleOhio, charged that ResponsibleOhio deliberately tried to sabotage its efforts to get a ballot measure before voters. But the commission, while at least one board member expressed sympathy for ORG, voted 6-0 to dismiss the case because it “lacked the authority to rule in the matter,” according to Cincinnati.com.

ORG contended that ResponsibleOhio leader Ian James had infiltrated its group to steal donors and key backers before going on to found ResponsibleOhio, and that James’ actions undercut ORG’s ability to qualify for the ballot this year. James called the complaint “frivolous” in a press release, and lauded the commission’s decision.

ResponsibleOhio has generated a lot of ill will amongst several grassroots activism organizations such as ORG because of how it structured its legalization initiative: only 10 marijuana cultivation sites will be allowed initially if the measure passes, and the sites will all be owned by wealthy investors who have backed the campaign, arguably creating a legal oligopoly.