Ohio Governor John Kasich
Dear Governor Kasich:
This November you will seek to win your second term as Governor of Ohio. Current polling shows that you have a slight lead over your nearest competitor, but all signs point to a tight race.
I believe that one way you can gain separation from the field is by giving Ohioans the freedoms that all humans are born with. Regardless of your feelings, I believe that you are smart enough to understand & agree that for humans to truly be free, the first (and most important) thing is that they are free to do as they please with their money and their bodies. Ancillary “freedoms” mean nothing if we are forbidden to spend our money at will or to eat, drink & smoke as we please.
So long as Ohioans are not negatively affecting another human (or domesticated animal), they should not be restricted in any way whatsoever with regard to what they can eat, drink, smoke, who they can marry, etc.
Currently, Ohioans are being egregiously restricted in two ways: Both playing online poker and the recreational use of cannabis are considered crimes in the state.
Regardless of your personal stance on poker and cannabis, the simple facts of the matter are that human beings in your state desire these things & these things do not negatively affect other “free” humans. In short, if an Ohioan wants to use cannabis or play poker online, in the privacy of their home, it is not your place nor mine to tell them they cannot.
Regardless of how you decide to handle these two issues, please understand that at some future date, there will be legal cannabis & legal online poker in Ohio. Should you decide to keep these things illegal, this date may not be for years to come. However, at some point, they will be legal. Society is slowly but surely making strides towards truly giving humans the inherent freedoms they were granted at birth. At this point, history will show that when presented with the opportunity to be a forward-thinking leader, you failed and instead hindered the very state you were elected to guide, costing Ohio billions of dollars in the process.
I do not believe that you want your place in history to be one of failure. Instead, with your guidance in calling on Ohio Democrats & Republicans to work together to legalize both cannabis and online poker, your legend can be written as one of a man of vision who understood the true role of government & the true meaning of freedom.
According to The Columbus Dispatch (via Joe Vardon & Jim Siegel), you are “expected to roll out your latest proposal for an income-tax cut” and again you are expected to “face opposition over how you intend to pay for it.”
I believe you can pay for it (and then some) by legalizing cannabis & legalizing online poker.
A simple call to Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado or Governor Inslee of Washington should be all you need to state your case for legal cannabis. Governor Hickenlooper was initially against legalizing cannabis in Colorado, but is now bullish about the cannabis industry, predicting cannabis will bring in more than $130,000,000 for the state of Colorado, while early estimates for Washington show nearly $200,000,000 in revenues for the state during the first few years of legalization.
Legalizing cannabis in Ohio would:
-Create jobs for Ohioans
-Lower Ohio’s prison population
-Free up Ohio’s police forces
-Lower the Ohio income tax
-Increase Ohio sales tax revenue [see below]
Considering that Ohio has 11.5 million people and Colorado & Washington have 5.2 million and 6.9 million respectively, I’d say it’s fair to estimate that legalizing cannabis in Ohio would bring the state at least $300,000,000 per year.
To put it simply, keeping cannabis illegal in Ohio is keeping a billion-dollar industry out of your state. That doesn’t sound like something the businessman in you would agree with.
Much like legal cannabis, Ohioans will legally be allowed to play online poker again at some future date. And much like how you steer the state re: cannabis, you are presented with an opportunity to be a visionary with regard to bringing back the online version of the skill game played at four casinos and dozens of other card rooms throughout your state. There are currently three states where online poker has been brought back. This number will be greater in the future. It’s up to you to decide if Ohio is a part of it or not.
Online poker was widely played by millions of Americans until Black Friday, 2011. Since this dreadful day, tens of thousands of Ohioans have been unable to play the game they love from the comfort & privacy of their homes. Not only is this unfair to the “free” men & women living and working in Ohio, but it’s costing the state tens of millions of dollars. Brian Pempus of Cardplayer Magazine states: “Legalized online poker is slowly, but surely, coming to the United States. Right now, three states — Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware — have online poker up and running in their respective borders. More are expected in the near future.”
The article further estimates that legalized poker throughout the nation could be a $2.2 billion industry or more (internet gambling in Europe is a $15b business). Why should Ohio, the 7th largest state in the union, miss out on a revenue stream that it’s residents obviously want to give it? One report estimates that Ohio would have the ninth largest market, bringing in over $30,000,000 to the state. According to Bloomberg, 18 states or more could have legalized online poker by 2018. I ask you to make sure that Ohio is one of them. (Note, also according to Bloomberg, over 10,000 players registered to play online poker in New Jersey…within 3 days of the start of legal online games and 55,000 accounts had been created within the first week. If this isn’t a clear indicator that “free” humans want to play online poker, I don’t know what is.)
I urge you to speak with Governors Jack Markell (Democrat – Delaware) & Brian Sandoval (Republican – Nevada) about their recent online poker pact. Clearly these men understand the upside of giving their citizens the freedoms they desire and clearly they are not afraid to cross party lines.
Additionally, I urge you to reach out to fellow republican, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Governor Christie believes that legal online poker in his state could produce over a billion dollars by July. Furthermore, New Jersey is “considering legislation to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states or countries where internet gambling is legal. That would allow people in those places to access the 15 gambling websites run by the Atlantic City casinos.”
Nevada, Delaware & New Jersey are great places, but Ohio is just as good (if not better.) Governors Markell, Sandoval & Christie are intelligent, open-minded individuals, and if you follow their lead by getting Ohio in at the beginning of nationwide legalization of online poker, your place in history will be one of vision, courage & an utmost desire to allow Ohioans the freedoms all humans are inherently given at birth.
[From your Wiki] In 2008, you were named the Honorary Chairman of Recharge Ohio, an organization with the stated purpose of electing leaders who would “get our state back on track.” You said that you hoped that through Recharge Ohio, you could “provide the framework necessary to allow Ohio to become a leader in economic and educational success.”
I believe the information presented above is more than enough to get you started on the path of allowing Ohio to become a leader in two emerging industries, while providing jobs for Ohioans and giving them the freedoms they desire.
[From your Wiki] Upon taking office, you received criticism from Phillip Morris of the Plain Dealer for appointing an all-white, 22-member Cabinet (containing only 5 women). You responded to the perceived lack of ethnic/gender diversity in your cabinet by saying, “I don’t look at things from the standpoint of any of these sort of metrics that people tend to focus on, race or age, or any of those things. It’s not the way I look at things… I want the best possible team I can get.”
I hope you will utilize the same logical approach used in choosing your cabinet when considering the two issues presented above. You don’t have to use cannabis or play poker to correct the injustices keeping them from Ohioans who do choose to involve these things in their private lives. Furthermore, consider if federal legislation is passed but Ohio has no existing statewide framework, you’ll have no choice but to be reactionary instead of being proactive & visionary like the aforementioned governors in Washington, Colorado, Delaware, Nevada & New Jersey.
Along with thousands of other Ohioans, I greatly appreciate your serious consideration in these matters.