Pro-Marijuana Legalization Group Backs O’Neill for Governor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The leading advocacy group for legalized marijuana in Ohio has endorsed Democrat Bill O’Neill for governor.

The Ohio Cannabis Institute says it will promote the former Ohio Supreme Court justice among its significant following of registered voters before Tuesday’s primaries.

A spokesman for Sir Alan Mooney, the institute’s co-founder, said O’Neill is “the only one with a sound plan.”

The 70-year-old O’Neill, also a nurse, proposes legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana and using the proceeds to reopen shuttered state mental health facilities. His pro-legalization stance was a key motivation for O’Neill to enter the race. Medical marijuana is set to become legal in Ohio later this year.

O’Neill faces former consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni for the Democratic nomination.