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Pot Advocacy Group Alleges Death Threats Issued by Drug Cartel

The marijuana legalization advocacy group ResponsibleOhio, whose pot legalization ballot measure Issue 3 will appear on Tuesday's Ohio general election ballot, claims that it was victimized by death threats and cyber attacks by a drug cartel.

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Barry Donegan
Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan

The marijuana legalization advocacy group ResponsibleOhio has been reportedly threatened, stalked, and victimized by thefts and cyber attacks at the hands of a local drug cartel.

According to Fox 19, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secret Service have investigated the threats and are taking them seriously. One suspect, who allegedly stole $200,000 from the organization’s bank account before being caught by law enforcement attempting to steal an additional $300,000, is in custody.

ResponsibleOhio executive director Ian James said, “Law enforcement was pretty clear that this was a pretty heavy duty drug dealer. The fact that he was also an arms dealer gave them great pause and indicated that we should be concerned.” Officers reportedly found a photograph of Ian James’ husband standing outside a building in Cleveland on the suspect.

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[RELATED: Ohio Recreational Pot Legalization Initiative Qualifies for Nov. 2015 Ballot]

In the above-embedded WCPO video, sports agent and ResponsibleOhio co-founder James Gould describes chilling recorded death threats that he allegedly received via “burner” cell phones from members of a drug cartel.

Why are you doing this? We’re going to f*** you up,” said the recorded voice on three different occasions over three weeks, according to Gould. He says that the group was also targeted by a cyber attack at a crucial point in its signature gathering process.

WCPO notes that according to campaign finance records, ResponsibleOhio subsequently spent $165,368 hiring the private security firm Carrol & Associates LLC to provide protection and investigate the threats.

It was scary,” said Gould.

[RELATED: Truth In Media Accelerates National Cannabis Discussion]

ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana legalization ballot measure Issue 3 will appear on Ohio’s general election ballot on November 3. The measure would create a framework for a legal recreational and medical marijuana industry in the state. Critics say the measure would establish a marijuana cultivation oligopoly, as it would constitutionally restrict pot production to 10 farms owned by ResponsibleOhio investors.

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