• Legal Marijuana Failed To Pass Muster With Ohio Voters, Here’s Why

    Numerous polls repeatedly showed that legal marijuana enjoyed majority support in Ohio. So why did Issue 3, the ballot initiative to legalize recreational and medical marijuana, fail to pass, and why are pro-marijuana groups OK with that?

    Ballot results released Tuesday night revealed that the “no” vote won at 65 percent of the vote, compared to the “yes” vote of just 35 percent.

    A Quinnipiac University poll in early October found that voters in Ohio support legalizing marijuana for personal use by 53 to 44 percent. Voters support medical marijuana by 90 to 9 percent.

    In mid-October, a poll conducted by Kent State University found 56 percent support for Issue 3 and 84 percent support for medical marijuana.

    Baldwin Wallace University conducted a poll in late October thatrevealed 83 percent support for medical marijuana and 55 percent support for recreational marijuana. (RELATED: The Polls Said Yes, But Voters Said No: Recreational Marijuana DEFEATED In Ohio)

    Earlier this year, the Libertarian Party of Ohio, traditionally known for its clear-cut stance on legalizing marijuana, endorsed a “no” position on Issue 3. Opposition stemmed from a monopoly on production and distribution of the drug.

    “[Issue] 3 is even worse,” Bob Bridges, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ohio Executive Committee, said. “It’s about a small group of deep-pockets crony-capitalists locking up the power to tell Ohioans what products they can have, where they can get them, and how much they must pay for them.”

    That is essentially the reason why Issue 3 failed to pass. Voters were suspicious about restricting the right to grow and distribute marijuana to just 10 facilities.

    “Hopefully it’ll only be another election cycle or two until a more responsible team secures enough funding to put a better initiative on the ballot,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Perhaps even the same group of investors cares enough about the real reasons for legalization to humbly receive the message Ohio voters just sent and try again in 2016 with a smarter proposal that establishes a more fairly regulated market.”

    “Our ongoing national movement to end marijuana prohibition is focused on civil rights, health and public safety, not profits for small groups of investors,” Angell added.

    For this reason, most major marijuana advocacy organizations did not endorse Issue 3.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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