Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors

Marijuana amendment defeated

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

The citizens of Ohio sent a resounding no to marijuana legalization on election night.

As of press time, with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting in the state, issue three, which would have legalized marijuana and effectively created a monopoly on growing and selling sites, lost by a nearly 30 percent margin, 65 to 35, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. The website states that issue three received 819,949 yes votes and 1,515,981 no votes.

Interestingly, the precincts reporting across the state show that issue two, which protects the initiative process from creating a monopoly, passed, but only by around a 52 to 48 margin.

In Brown County, issue three was defeated by a nearly 59 to 41 margin, with 7,051 voting no and 4,944 voting yes.

In response to successful ballot box amendments to decriminalize marijuana in four U.S. states – Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Colorado – the Political Action Committee Responsible Ohio petitioned to place Issue three on this November’s ballot.

The legalization amendment overcame numerous hurdles, including initial rejections on petition language from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and an investigation into legal signatures collected on the petition by Ohio Secretary of State John Husted. But eventually, it was approved to be on the ballot.

If it’s passed, issue three would allow the limited sale and possession of marijuana to those 21-years or older, both recreationally and medicinally. But different from the other states where amendments passed, issue three calls for the creation of ten growing sites in ten Ohio counties, where all of the state’s marijuana crop will be sold and distributed from.

The ten pre-determined sites are co-owned by some famous individuals, including former 98 Degrees front-man Nick Lachey and former University of Cincinnati and NBA star Oscar Robertson. The ten sites are located in Clermont, Hamilton, Butler, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Delaware, Summit, Franklin, and Stark Counties.

The facilities are called marijuana growth, cultivation and extraction facilities (MGCEs), and they have exclusive rights to commercial production of marijuana, and it’s for this reason that there has been plenty of opposition to the amendment. While many opponents don’t want to see marijuana legalized at all, even more are against what they’re calling a “marijuana monopoly.”

By having only ten sites to grow and distribute marijuana for sale statewide, and writing into law that marijuana retailers can only sell marijuana from those sites, opponents believe that they would be codifying a monopoly, or oligopoly.

The opponents therefore quickly put on the ballot a counter-measure, issue two, which would prohibit monopolies being formed through ballot measures. To use the wording on the referendum, it states that’s an anti-monopoly amendment that “protects the initiative process from being used for personal economic benefit.”

The first line of the measure states, “prohibit any petitioner from using the Ohio Constitution to grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for their exclusive financial benefit or to establish a preferential tax status,” which is clearly a jab at issue three.

Opponents of issue three include the likes of Governor John Kasich, DeWine, Auditor of State Ned Yost, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and the Ohio Manufactures Association.

Locally, Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Carl Smith has come out in opposition to issue three.

Supporters include former Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney, and former Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher.

Opponents of issue three have asked for voters to vote yes on issue two and no on issue three, with issue three supporters asking voters to do the opposite.

Reading the fine print, if issue three is passed, anyone 21 years of age or older can “grow, cultivate, use, possess, and share up to eight ounces of usable homegrown marijuana plus four flowering marijuana plants” if they acquire a valid state marijuana license, similar to a person acquiring a hunting license.

In addition, anyone 21 years of age or older may “purchase, possess, transport, use, or share” up to one ounce of marijuana. It’s not included in the ballot measure, but those caught with more than one ounce of marijuana without a license are still subject to local and state laws.

Medical marijuana would also be authorized by the passage of this measure.

In terms of purchasing retail marijuana, the revenue earned would be taxed at a flat rate of 15 percent, with a special five percent tax placed on each retail store’s revenue.

The measure would also apply limits on governmental regulation of the measure.

Two bullets state that if passed, the measure would “prohibit any local or state law, including zoning laws, from being applied to prohibit the development or operation of marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction facilities, retail marijuana stores, and medical marijuana dispensaries” unless those areas are zoned residential as of Jan. 1, 2015, and “limit the ability of the legislature and local governments from regulating the manufacture, sales, distribution, and use of marijuana and marijuana products.”

If passed, issue three would go into effect on December 3, 30 days after the election. If issue two passes, it would go into effect immediately.

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By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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2016 News Democrat