A woman who recently lost her job dressing up as “Buddie,” a sentient bud of weed who has saucy eyebrows and the body of a humanoid superhero, says she was unfairly fired for raising concerns about on-the-job safety.
Buddie is the mascot for ResponsibleOhio, a group advocating Ohio’s legal weed initiative, Issue 3. Until last week, he was played by 26-year-old Ericka Buford. Buford told the Dayton Daily News it’s no coincidence that ResponsibleOhio told her it was going to “go a different way” shortly after she met with her bosses about hiring more security for the group’s campus bus tour.
Buford felt the tour needed to hire additional protection in case Buddie and Co. met with protesters as they rallied college kids to their effort to legalize it.(Another measure on the ballot, Issue 2, claims to “protect the initiative process from being used for personal economic benefit,” but its practical effect would block Issue 3 from taking effect if passed.)
“They next thing I know someone else is being in Buddie and I just got kicked out. I listened and did every single thing that was asked of me. I’ve done everything,” she told the Dayton Daily News.
Buford, a single mom, is so bummed about the way she was treated, she can’t even muster up much excitement for Issue 3, which would make Ohio the first U.S. state to allow recreational pot without setting up a medical marijuana program first.
“Now I’m debating it because now I know how the people behind it work,” she said.
Meanwhile, Buddie parties on. ResponsibleOhio plans to ramp up its college-centric campaign with additional actors, so Buddie can cover more ground in the final weeks of the campaign.