Tomorrow is Election Day in Ohio, and the most contentious issue on the ballot is—surprise, surprise—the legalization of marijuana. And it’s not just contentious because weed is a drug and drugs are (supposedly) bad and all that, but rather because of the way this particular ballot issue is worded. Basically, if Ohio approves the legalization, every bud, eighth, ounce, or nug grown in the state would have to come from one of 10 designated farms in the state, all of which are already owned by the bill’s mega-rich and mostly Republican backers. This will only make them richer—and it will also make them weirder.
As the Washington Post is reporting, the owners of those farms include everyone from a pair of President William Howard Taft’s great-great-grandnephews to an NBA legend to Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica star Nick Lachey, who now makes his living occasionally popping up on TV. Though he’s a Cincinnati native, the registered Republican and 98 Degrees member owns part of a 29-acre property outside Akron, which The Washington Post says he shares with “a couple of financial executive and a car dealership owner from Texas.” Together, the group put up the $4 million required from each of the 10 farms in Ohio to get the campaign going, and should the law pass, the farms would, within four years, be collectively selling about $1.1 billion worth of pot to 1100 state-regulated marijuana stores each year. That’s a lot of hair gel and carpenter jeans.
According to the Post, Lachey was introduced to the idea through his financial manager, who previously got another client—football player Frostee Rucker—into the legal weed game. All the parties involved in the campaign for a ResponsibleOhio are “bottom-line-minded investors alert to the untapped economic potential of a particularly pungent cash crop,” with the Columbus Dispatch reporting that a video pitch sent to some potential contributors encouraged them to “hop on this tsunami of money and ride the top of that wave to some enrichment for us.”
Lachey declined an interview request from the Washington Post but sent a statement to the paper saying that he’s “proud to be a part of a movement that has the potential to create jobs, reinvigorate the local economy, and improve the safety of our communities.”