Ohio Rejects Marijuana Legalization


On Nov. 3, 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected Issue 3, a ballot initiative that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana. The measure had garnered criticism from marijuana opponents and supporters due to a provision that would allow for only 10 preselected groups to cultivate marijuana.

Although the election results have not yet been certified by the Ohio Secretary of State, Cleveland.com has reported that with 98 percent of the precincts accounted for, legalization has failed by a vote of 64 percent against Issue 3 and 36 percent in favor of it. In contrast, Issue 2, an initiative aimed at blocking the legalization measure, passed with 52 percent of voters in favor of it.

The group behind Issue 3, ResponsibleOhio, remains undaunted in the face of defeat.

“We wanted to change the dialogue — we did do that,” said Ian James, ResponsibleOhio’s executive director. “This was the first step to legalization — we’re not going away. What we have in prohibition of marijuana does not work.”

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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