Ohio Concerns: Is Profit Main Driver for Issue 3 Pot Ballot?

Andy Joseph, Ohio entrepreneur and proprietor of Apeks Supercritical, is all for marijuana legalization in his state. But he’s concerned. Very, very concerned.

Apeks Supercritical, Joseph’s company, manufactures botanical-oil extraction equipment and is on track to exceed $13 million in sales this year – up from $750,000 just three years ago – all because of legalized marijuana in other states.

While supporting medicinal and recreational marijuana privileges for Ohioans, Joseph is raising critical awareness for the proposed initiative that would make Ohio the first state to legalize pot for recreational and medicinal use all at once. Ohio’s Issue 3 marijuana initiative does not allow for a phase of medicinal use first followed – in some time – by recreational use.

“Issue 3 is not Ohio’s only chance at legalizing marijuana. However, it is the wrong chance for Ohioans,” said Andy Joseph.

Joseph is joining other affected Ohio businesses that supply and serve the marijuana industry in other states in speaking out with regard to Issue 3.

“It’s risky for me to come out here and say, ‘Hey, I don’t agree,'” Joseph shared recently. “I just can’t sit back anymore and let a constitutional hijacking happen just for the opportunity for business gain.”

A multistep release controlled by state legislature allowing for medicinal then recreational marijuana use has pretty much been the norm. It’s how states like Colorado and Oregon rolled out weed to adults. Medicinal first. Iron out some wrinkles. Then green light recreational use.

Joseph is strongly opposed to Ohio’s Issue 3, which was put on the state’s ballot by a group called ResponsibleOhio [you can learn more about ResponsibleOhio here], citing a lack of clarity and defined guidelines around Issue 3. Many are fearful ResponsibleOhio’s rush to pass Issue 3 has more to do with profit than marijuana advocacy.

“I’m not a huge activist, but I would hate to see the marijuana industry make all the strides it has, only to have a big black eye from the state of Ohio,” Joseph said.

Andy Joseph, founder of Apeks, LLC (PRNewsFoto/Apeks Supercritical)
Andy Joseph, founder of Apeks, LLC (PRNewsFoto/Apeks Supercritical)

“This is a fantastic wake-up call. … It’s forcing us to have this conversation that’s really needed to happen for a long time. But my deeper concern is about the law-and-order issues.  An overwhelming 90 percent of Ohio voters support the legalization of medical marijuana and responsible organizations and activists are ready to push new legislation for the 2016 ballot.” said Ohio entrepreneur Andy Joseph.

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