Marijuana legalization campaign ResponsibleOhio has spent nearly $1.3 million

February 6, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Pro-pot group ResponsibleOhio spent nearly $1.3 million on its campaign to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State before it announced any details of its November 2015 ballot initiative, state campaign finance records show.

Much of that -- $857,300 -- went to a Columbus consulting firm the Strategy Network, headed by the campaign's executive director Ian James, according to the group's January filing with the Ohio secretary of state's office. ResponsibleOhio reported spending $156,000 on polling and $115,000 on consulting from 270 Strategies, a national firm founded by former Obama campaign staffers.

That level of spending is typical of Ohio ballot-initiative campaigns once they're collecting the hundreds of thousands of signatures required -- not before they've even submitted ballot language for initial approval.

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