Spurned Medical Marijuana Applicant Pushes New Pot Issue

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A spurned applicant for a medical marijuana grower’s license has announced plans for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.

The proposal by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

Gould says the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” amendment will be on the ballot next fall. He says it would keep the existing medical marijuana program in place.

Gould has criticized the state Department of Commerce for hiring a consultant with a drug conviction to help select Ohio’s medical marijuana growers.

Gould said at a Monday news conference the selection system was flawed by incompetence and favoritism.

A message was left with the Commerce Department, which has rejected Gould’s claims.