Political profiteers push Ohio’s pot vote


But the political consultant isn’t just gathering the signatures. He came up with the idea for the measure. And he recruited a lawyer to draft a constitutional amendment that would put Ohio’s future marijuana market in the hands of only 10 growers — an arrangement that critics are calling a monopoly. Meanwhile, he plans to pay his own firm nearly $6 million to run the campaign.

Though James is an extreme example, he’s a member of a much larger and little-known class of professionals that form what could be called Ballot Measure Inc.: a powerful electoral-industrial complex funded by moneyed interests that belies the quaint notion of “citizen democracy” that such efforts are assumed to represent…

James’ initiative has drawn considerable heat. The measure would root the 10 marijuana growth sites to particular land parcels, which happen to be controlled by the mysterious companies funding the initiative. They would function as Ohio’s only wholesale suppliers of marijuana, selling to separate retail shops and nonprofit medical dispensaries…

Around the state, at least four other sections of land were reserved in the same way — to LLCs that paid for the exclusive right to buy the land by the end of the year or early into 2016. All 10 land parcels will be written into the state constitution should Responsible Ohio get its way.

The Responsible Ohio campaign has trumpeted some of the investors, including minor celebrities such as Nick Lachey, former 98 Degrees boy-bander and ex-husband of singer Jessica Simpson; fashion designer Nanette Lepore; and Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker. Others — such as Chicago investor Ben Kovler and Dayton pain specialist Dr. Suresh Gupta — can only be found after digging through documents…


by Kellie Praydis on May 1st, 2015
This doctor kept me strung out on narcotics for over a year milking the VA for payments. When he finally gave me radio frequency shot, my pain was gone for over a 18 months. He insisted that I continue to see him every month. After the radio frequency shot wore off and I needed another treatment, he gave me a “stick” test, which is required by law for anyone receiving narcotics. His “stick” test came back postive for PCP, LSD, Methamphetamine and Marijuana. When I protested that this was crazy, “I’ve never taken these drugs”, he threatened to call the police. I immediately went to the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center ER and had my urine tested by a lab. Of course, it came back negative for anything except for what I was legally and medically prescribed. I later found out he simply didn’t want to treat me because the VA wasn’t paying him enough.

Mar 19th, 2014
This “doctor” treated me for pain from a shoulder injury. On one occasion he gave me an injection in my upper back and nicked one of my arteries. I could feel the blood streaming down my back. I am very lucky that I did not have a stroke or suffer possible paralysis. He does have roaming hands when examining female patients in the experience of this female patient. He gave me such high doses of pain medication that my handwriting deteriorated and I had serious problems driving my car. He upset me so much on the last occasion I had an appointment with him that I came home and vomited in my kitchen sink. Avoid at all costs. Just doing without treatment would be safer for you than getting treatment from this charlatan.

Jul 3rd, 2012
I waited in the lobby for over 2 hours and when i was finally brought back to see this “doctor” i waited for another hour in the office. I am on pain meds and am required to give random urine samples, after one of these samples he accused me of using heroin. I have never used any drugs other than what he gave me. He also continuously rubs his nurses shoulders and backs while he talks to his patients. He has been tried and unfortunately acquitted for gross sexual imposition.

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