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Stoners Against Legalization Desperately Lying About Ohio Issue 3

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 23/10/2015 Russ Belville
73068857 © VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm via Getty Images 73068857

Don E. Wirtshafter has now taken to blatantly lying about Issue 3, the amendment to legalize marijuana in Ohio.
Right out of the gate, he opens with the Illegal Non-Store Ounce Lie that was promulgated by the No on I-502 crowd in Washington in 2012. Wirtshafter writes:
"If Issue 3 passes and you are caught on the street carrying anything other than sealed packets of the cartel's inferior, factory-grown product, today's harsh laws will still apply."
It's a nearly identical prophecy to No on I-502's Steve Elliott, who wrote:
"Unless you bought that ounce at a state-licensed store, you'd still get busted."
The result? Not only has nobody in Washington State been busted for possession of a non-store ounce, 63 percent fewer prosecutions for ALL marijuana crimes have transpired in Washington since passing I-502. Not only did the less-than-an-ounce people avoid police, so did many of the more-than-an-ounce people, since the smell of weed is no longer probable cause.
And that's in a state that doesn't allow home grow. Issue 3 will allow home grow in Ohio. So, how is the police officer supposed to know that the quarter-ounce in the baggie in your pocket isn't a) your home grown marijuana, b) a friend's home grown marijuana he's legally allowed to share with you, or c) store-bought marijuana that was taken out of the package and shared with the person holding it?
Issue 3 doesn't legalize store-bought marijuana; it legalizes marijuana, period. Look it up yourself. It says, "It is lawful for persons 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, transport, use and share with another person 21 years of age or older one ounce or less of marijuana or its equivalent in marijuana-infused products." Do you see store-bought in its original packaging anywhere in there?
"As a lawyer," Don, you just committed a breach of ethics.
Aside from the opening lie, Wirtshafter continues painting a nightmare scenario of corporate marijuana unleashed that bears little resemblance to the reality of large, factory grows currently operating in Washington and Colorado, beginning with the Corporate Marijuana Will Suck Prediction.
"Issue 3 will supply Ohioans with factory-grown schwag," he predicts. "Profit-motivated Issue 3 backers are planning to grow in huge, very likely bug-, mold- and mildew-prone factories. ... They will be miserable places to work in. With only second-class products available in the stores, the black market for quality products will continue to thrive. The result will be continuing arrests and spiraling costs of enforcement."
I remember when I heard something similar from No on I-502's Steve Sarich: ""If you're happy to pay $600-$700 an ounce for 'legal' state schwag to help fund 'social services', like more law enforcement to enforce this new law, just come right out and admit it."
I've toured some of the largest industrial grows in Washington and Colorado. I've never seen happier employees and cleaner grows. I've smoked their "factory-grown schwag" and it's dynamite. It's truly a feat of logical contortion to fear monger about the "schemers" who are "all about the money" who would then set up sub-standard operations to produce an inferior product that would be beaten out by the black market (and the thousands of home growers) and blow their investment.
No, the real fear Wirtshafter is voicing is that of the black market growers who know they cannot compete with the price, selection, and quality of a legalized market. Even in Colorado and Washington, getting into the growing-at-scale game takes a lot of money. At least Wirtshafter is honest about the amendment initially establishing grow right for ten properties, not "ten growers". That deceit has been difficult to maintain since many of the landowners have signed agreements to lease parcels for independent growers.
Then Wirtshafter follows with the It's Etched In Granite Warning, which is always funny when we're talking about an amendment. "The Ohio Legislature has no power to repair the onerous provisions of this power grab," writes Wirtshafter. "The only way to fix Issue 3 is another constitutional amendment."
So, the legislature had no power to fix Issue 3 after 2015, but somehow, they had the power this year to put the Issue 2 amendment on the ballot to completely invalidate Issue 3. What, then, is stopping the legislature in 2016 from putting forth an amendment to fix Issue 3?
Ah, yes, the power of the "monopoly". "With Issue 3's backers making their projected hundreds of millions of dollars per year," Wirtshafter predicts, "they will be able to spend whatever is necessary to prevent Ohio citizens from removing their stranglehold over Ohio's production." So, the money-grubbing cartel, which is losing money hand-over-fist because people would rather buy non-pesticide, non-bug, non-mildew, non-schwag from the black market, will spend massive amounts of money to keep the stranglehold they don't have. And the people who hate this arrangement will be swayed by their ad buys. OK...
Then there's the Only That Much Marijuana Isn't Enough Ploy. Here, Wirtshafter argues that Ohio Issue 3's "Four plants and eight ounces is not enough" for home growing and that getting a license to home grow will be forcing citizens to "grant permission for government inspections of their homes."
Nothing in the amendment authorizes home inspections. Rather, like other states that allow home growing for all adults or for medical purposes, it requires "homegrown marijuana is not grown or consumed within public view and that home-growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space inaccessible to persons under the age of 21."
Then Wirtshafter doubles down on the Illegal Non-Store Ounce Lie, writing, "Only monopoly marijuana contained in its original, sealed container is legal outside your home," and that "I doubt felony arrests and costs for legal enforcement will go down under Issue 3." That reminds me of when No on I-502's Douglas Hiatt foretold, "The 10,000 possession arrests per year can easily be converted into 10,000 (or more) DUI arrests." (By the way, that didn't even come close to happening.)
Finally, Wirtshafter weakly bats away the fact that Issue 3 will provide relief for hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients, with not only a medicine that won't be taxed and must be sold at the lowest wholesale cost, but with protection for administering medical marijuana at work that no other state provides. "Issue 3 pandering itself as medical has split the pro-cannabis community," Wirtshafter intones. "Some people are so desperate for freedom that they are willing to give up all rights to a new master."
Or, maybe, just maybe, some parents are hoping the old-school Yippies don't blow this chance at getting some CBD oil for their dying epileptic daughter because a "long-time leader in cannabis reform" is upset that winning elections costs money these days.

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