Ohio Voters Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Use
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Ohio Voters Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Use
Posted by CN Staff on November 02, 2015 at 19:01:50 PT
By Kim Palmer
Source: Reuters
Cleveland -- Ohio voters will decide Tuesday on whether to become the first Midwestern state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, though a rival ballot measure could kill the law before it takes effect.Issue 3 would add an amendment to the state constitution that legalizes both personal and medical use of marijuana for those over 21 years old. The ballot initiative was the result of a campaign that gathered more than 300,000 valid voter signatures from around the state.
If it passes, Ohio would become the fifth, and largest, state to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana, following Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia.Ohio is considered a political bellwether - the candidate who wins Ohio usually wins the presidency. So a win for recreational marijuana in Ohio is expected to change the national conversation on legalization, according to Gary Daniels of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union.Seven other states are expected to vote on recreational marijuana legalization next year, according to Danielle Keane, political director for NORML, which advocates for legalization.But Issue 3 also grants exclusive rights for commercial marijuana growth and distribution to 10 facilities around the state. Those facilities are owned by investors in the legalization movement.Critics of the measure say this creates a monopoly, and responded with a rival ballot measure called Issue 2. This ballot measure would nullify legalization if it creates "an economic monopoly or special privilege" for a private entity."We support marijuana legalization, but we cannot support Issue 3," said Maurice Thompson, executive director of 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a conservative legal rights organization. The Ohio Green Party also opposes Issue 3 over the monopoly issue.Ohio State University constitutional law professor Daniel Tokaji believes that marijuana legalization measure will fail to pass due to the word "monopoly" in the ballot language.But Thompson's group and the ACLU also are concerned that the anti-monopoly measure could tie up other citizen-initiated amendments.If both measures pass, the conflict will likely end up in court, said Daniels.Recent polls in the state are split down the middle for legalizing recreational use - support is greater for medical use.Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, a political action group which brought the issue to the ballot, said that the measure is not about monopolies but "providing access to adults and smothering a black market."ResponsibleOhio volunteers have knocked on a million doors in the weeks leading up to the election in part to educate voters to vote "no" on Issue 2, James said."Ultimately it is going to be all about the turnout," said James.Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Alan CrosbySource: Reuters (Wire)Author:  Kim PalmerPublished: November 2, 2015Copyright: 2015 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on November 03, 2015 at 12:24:34 PT
If I had a chance I'd vote yes on both. Then you're sending a clear message that you want cannabis legal but you don't want monopolies. I don't like to see the vote-like-there's-no-tomorrow mentality. Things are changing! These laws are just getting started. If one vote fails, the wait till the next one may not be as long as you think.  Just look at what happened with gay marriage - even Iowa was doing it within a few years of the progressive coastal states. And legal MJ eventually means tax money for the govt. porkers.In fact I'm certain that we'll see the first state legislatures legalizing in 2016 or 2017 at the latest. Here in the northeast, Maine and Mass. are going to go in 2016. States like Vermont, New Hampshire, RI, and New York are going to see their tax dollars flowing across the border..they won't like that!  as the industry grows there will be millions more dollars available for referendums in places like Ohio.  All the referendums to pass so far were basically rich investors writing laws favorable to their business plans, these guys in Ohio were just rapaciously greedy, this is by far the worst legalization proposal yet and deserves to be shot down by the state govt. IMO.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 03, 2015 at 06:52:02 PT
Very Big Issue
I see how controversial this is. My concerns are I don't want it to fail because of prohibitionist will say no one wants pot legalized in Ohio. That is not true. 
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on November 03, 2015 at 05:34:22 PT
Ohio ballot measure
I guess the best that can be said is to make it legal and work on corrective legislation later. It will be legal. (I know, there are weird details.) Ohio will join the growing list of other legal states. This will have huge national political ramifications. Thousands of people will not be getting arrested etc. for cannabis infractions. Millions of dollars will not be wasted on the cannabis prohibition industry. There will be new jobs opening in the new industry. Good luck Ohio.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on November 03, 2015 at 05:12:23 PT
The Ohio vote against Prohibition of Cannabis
has turned into the most controversial and confusing choice on a ballot I may have ever seen.I hope it's legalized though. 
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Comment #3 posted by Universer on November 03, 2015 at 02:26:08 PT
Maybe the best thing that could happen would be if both Issue 3 AND Issue 2 pass. Issue 2 is only intended to block the oligopoly; even if Issue 2 passes, the passage of Issue 3 legalizes possession and growing. Moreover, it would show the Ohio legislature that, beyond any shadow of doubt, Ohioans want cannabis regulation - for Ohioans said as much during an OFF-OFF-YEAR. That'd be saying something.I've come around. I despise the initiative, especially the slimy, opportunistic way it was conceived and birthed, and the callous dismissiveness with which professional as shole Ian James is treating would-be customers of his small band of clients. I feel it's exactly the sort of Big Weed that Willie is now loudly and rightly railing about, and it's a scum-ridden co-opting of a newborn reality painstakingly brought because so many grassroots activists - many of whom are in this very room - worked so hard for so long for.Still, it's better than Prohibition. Only just, but still better.Go pass it, please. Vote for Issue 2 while you're at it, and get your growin' on while sticking it to those money-mad legalizers-come-lately.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on November 02, 2015 at 21:20:26 PT
I agree. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 02, 2015 at 19:09:46 PT
Just a Comment
Tomorrow we will vote for Issue 3. I don't want to see it not pass because then the prohibitionists win and they will flaunt it. The ads on TV pushed the monopoly and children and edibles. I wish people would use common sense and not complicate legalization but that is because I believe in fairness and common sense. I will be happy if it passes and sad if it doesn't and I hope if it doesn't pass that in 2016 a better one will be on the ballot. I hope that it won't be over for Ohio's chances if it doesn't win.
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