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Ohio Not Ready for Medical or Recreational Marijuana
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Summary: An initiative put to the voters to legalize marijuana use was flawed so much that supporters of legalized marijuana were still unwilling to vote yes.

Voters in Ohio rejected a measure to legalized recreational and medical use of marijuana by nearly 2 to 1. Experts warn that the rejection does not reflect the attitude of Ohioans and more on the proposal to legalize marijuana.


Issue 3 would have given adults 21 and older the ability to purchase, use and grow specific amounts of marijuana with a regulatory and taxation guideline to manage the legalization. The proposal also included a stipulation for “exclusive rights” to commercial marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction for 10 predetermined parcels of land.

The owners of the 10 parcels of land, known as ResponsibleOhio, were the main funders and proponents of the measure. They spent over $12 million for ads and $25 million for the total campaign. As Case Western University School of Law professor Jonathan Adler explained, the issue voters had was that “Issue 3 would create a marijuana ‘monopoly’ consisting of 10 producers who would have their exclusive rights to engage in the commercial production of marijuana enshrined in the state constitution. The campaign in support of Issue 3 – so-called Responsible Ohio – is predictably supported by those who would hold these exclusive rights. This is crony capitalism at its worst.”

The New York Times reports that the campaign was designed this way by Ian James, a political consultant. James went out and found 10 investors to give $2 million each to pay for the campaign. In exchange for this investment, they would receive exclusive rights to grow marijuana.

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Polls show that Ohioans support the legalization of marijuana, but not in such a way that it is a profitable business for only a select few.




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