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ResponsibleOhio Ramps Up Campaign Efforts, Sues State Ballot Board


The group behind this fall’s proposed amendment to legalize marijuana has a controversial new mascot.

The new ResponsibleOhio mascot is named Buddie, and he looks like a cross between Oscar the Grouch and Popeye the Sailor man – a green bushy head, meant to resemble a “bud” of pot, atop a bodybuilder’s physique.

ResponsibleOhio says the muscular creature is traveling on its “Green Rush” RV to college campuses to promote the group’s social media campaign. Some opponents, like Nick Lashutka, the head of the Ohio Association of Children’s Hospitals call the mascot a blatant attempt to market pot to children and adolescents.

But Ian James with ResponsibleOhio says the only people marketing to children right now are the drug dealers his group would like to put out of business.

And while Buddie tours the state, ReponsibleOhio supporters are fighting the state's ballot board decision regarding the wording of its initiative for the Nov. 3 ballot at the Ohio Supreme Court.

The ResponsibleOhio campaign is objecting to what it calls misleading and inaccurate ballot descriptions of where marijuana establishments would be permitted and the amount of marijuana people could purchase, among other issues.

The proposed constitutional amendment would let adults 21 and older buy marijuana for medicinal or personal use and grow four plants. It creates a network of 10 authorized growing locations and lays out a regulatory scheme for cannabis.

The state's Ballot Board approved ballot language last week. Its chairman says the phrasing is fair. ResponsibleOhio's attorneys asked the court on Thursday to invalidate the ballot wording and title.