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ACLU, Common Cause Ohio Oppose Anti-Monopoly Issue

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Groups oppose anti-monopoly measure aimed at marijuana legalization effort.

Two groups have declared their opposition to issue two – the proposed amendment aimed at keeping monopolies out of the state constitution. The ACLU and Common Cause Ohio say the measure limits citizen action.

Issue 2 aims to prevent changes to the state constitution that benefit only a few, like 10 exclusive growers of legal marijuana.

Common Cause Ohio’s Sam Gresham said Issue 2 goes beyond monopolies.

 “What you’ve got is the public focusing on monopolies, but the language is so broad it can include a variety of organizations," Gresham said. 

Gresham worries the language could restrict citizen ballot initiatives by allowing the state’s ballot board to invoke the monopoly rule.   

But Issue 2 sponsor Mike Curtin said that’s a misread. The state representative says the language is clear.

“This is an attempt to prevent the initiative process from being used to carve special deals, exclusives, monopolies, oligopolies, cartels, exclusives not available to other entities and it’s really that simple," Curtin said.

Curtin added the state’s high court can trump the ballot board’s decision.