From the LPO website:
The Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Ohio voted unanimously to oppose the initiative to re-legalize cannabis for all purposes being launched by the group known as Responsible Ohio. The group is currently petitioning to place an initiative on the Ohio ballot which would create a closed system of 10 growing sites for the cultivation of cannabis in the state, a strictly-limited network of vendors and suppliers, and a provision for users to grow only a very small amount of cannabis for their own use.
Because the Libertarian Party has supported re-legalizing cannabis since the party’s inception in 1971, the LPO’s decision to oppose this particular measure is very significant. The party’s objection to the proposal stems from the crony-capitalist nature of the proposed legislation. The Responsible Ohio initiative would lock in the 10 particular growing sites, granting an effective monopoly to the investors who control those sites. Since the initiative is being offered as an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, any future change would also have to be done by means of a constitutional amendment, which would likely face well-financed opposition from the beneficiaries of this proposal.
“There is nothing ‘responsible’ about Responsible Ohio,” said LPO Political Director Tricia Sprankle. “This isn’t a proposal to restore rights to Ohioans. It’s a crony scheme to line the pockets of a few wealthy investors.”
Sprankle pointed out that the Responsible Ohio cannabis initiative parallels the casino gambling amendment that Ohioans were gulled into passing in 2009. That amendment granted a monopoly to a handful of large corporations to operate full casinos at just four sites in Ohio.
“Hopefully, the voters of Ohio have learned, and won’t be fooled a second time,” Sprankle said. “The LPO understands the desire to see cannabis prohibition end. We agree. But if Responsible Ohio’s initiative passes, Ohioans will still be getting busted for pot 20 years from now.”
Several other groups are also pursuing cannabis re-legalization in various forms, although none are benefiting from the support of the deep-pockets supporting the Responsible Ohio amendment. The LPO is reviewing these other options and will address the issue again soon.
“We counsel patience right now,” Sprankle concluded. “After three-quarters of a century of prohibition, it’s better to wait a little longer for a better, cleaner law than to grasp at the first opportunity and pay for it later.”