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Ohio Lawmakers Race to Block Potential Marijuana Monopoly

State lawmakers are rushing to throw a constitutional obstacle in the path of supporters of a marijuana-legalization campaign.

The plan rolled out Tuesday was backed by top legislative leaders, but critics said that it may go too far in trying to derail the fast-moving marijuana plan engineered by ResponsibleOhio.

House Joint Resolution 4 had a hearing on Tuesday, just hours after being introduced by state Reps. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, and Mike Curtin, D-Marble Cliff. It would make it harder, but not impossible, for a “monopoly or special economic interest” to submit a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana-legalization proposal, which appears likely to be on the Nov. 3 ballot, is not mentioned in the bipartisan resolution, but is clearly the target. The pot proposal would give individuals and groups that invest in the campaign a monopoly to establish 10 for-profit, marijuana-growing sites across the state. [Read more at the Columbus Dispatch]

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