State Representative Retherford (R-Hamilton) yesterday voted for a resolution that would block any proposal of a constitutional amendment that would create a monopoly in the state.

House Joint Resolution 4 calls for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot for the upcoming general election that would ensure that monopolies cannot be created through the use of constitutional amendments. This would block any upcoming initiatives that create a monopoly from becoming effective in the Ohio Constitution. If two conflicting amendments are on the same ballot and both amendments get majority votes, the one with the most votes prevails.

Rep. Retherford commented on the resolution:

“The protection and sanctity of the Ohio Constitution should constantly be on all of our minds. Special interests groups, businesses and investors, as we see with the so called ‘Responsible Ohio’ group, should not be allowed to tarnish this great document by monopolizing their particular business into the Constitution. I believe this group should not be able to corrupt the process to protect their own business and money. The legalization of marijuana, especially by a group of individuals who care more about profit than people, should be fought.  By placing House Joint Resolution 4 into our Constitution, we will protect its original intent, to protect all Ohioans. I strongly support protecting the sanctity of the Constitution and strongly oppose the plan proposed by ‘Irresponsible Ohio’. “

Ohioans would still be able to propose an economic monopoly, but it would be through a more careful two-step process. First, individuals must vote to suspend the anti-monopoly provision at a general election and then must approve that same economic monopoly at the following general election.

Other states have enacted anti-monopoly provisions, including North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas.

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