ResponsibleOhio is a private group advocating for marijuana reform in the Buckeye State with the aim of getting an initiative onto this November's general election ballot. Their plan, Issue 3, calls for dispensaries to be open to the public as well as a "home grow" provision. It's becoming a heated issue in the state as states examining similar reform look on with curiosity.
Earlier this week, the group sparked a real nice bowl of controversy when they introduced their new mascot, Buddie.
You look great, Buddie!
Buddie's ridiculous legs and strong resemblance to the Mr. Skin logo aside, some people don't like Buddie!
Nick Lashutka, president of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, said he's shocked that ResponsibleOhio appears to be marketing marijuana to kids before voters even see it on the ballot. Lashutka said it's disappointing the group would choose a superhero character to represent a substance that has proven to be dangerous for children.
"I have four kids and if any of them were to see this, they would draw a conclusion that it's OK," Lashutka said.
Jen Detwiler, spokeswoman for Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, called the mascot irresponsible, at best.
"ResponsibleOhio has placed a lot of emphasis on the 21 and over piece of their amendment but then comes out with a mascot styled after a superhero?" Detwiler said. "It's a pretty shameless attempt to entice young people."
The voting age in Ohio is 18.
In January, the journal Scientific Reports published the results of a study finding at least 10 drugs, including alcohol and nicotine, which are more harmful than marijuana. The low risk that marijuana poses to people's health suggests that the drug should be strictly regulated but not prohibited, the researchers wrote.
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