6 Reasons Marijuana Legalization Failed In Ohio

OHIO: The sheer size of Tuesday’s crushing electoral defeat of marijuana legalization in the Buckeye State surprised political experts inside and out of Ohio. Despite a $20 million campaign, the proposed constitutional amendment, known as Issue 3, lost. Amid its smoking wreckage, six reasons emerge to explain what happened to Issue 3 — and what happens next.

With 99% of precincts reporting, the amendment was defeated 64% to 36%.

The business plan. “Boy, that word monopoly. It’s been an ugly word in politics sinceTheodore Roosevelt’s day,” political scientist David Niven at the University of Cincinnatisaid Tuesday night. Issue 3 was unique in the history of the modern legalization movement in that it would have written into the Ohio Constitution provisions to limit the cultivation of the state’s crop to 10 already-chosen properties. Issue 3’s backers said the plan’s advantage would have been to allow the state to tightly regulate marijuana at the grow source. The technical term for such an economic model is oligopoly. But the term “monopoly” got slapped on Issue 3 from the outset, and Issue 3 backers could never run it down.

Pro-Marijuana Group Seeks Injunction To Extend Polling Hours In Hamilton County

OHIO: The group campaigning to legalize marijuana in the state is seeking an injunction to extend voting hours in one Ohio county.

ResponsibleOhio said it wants to keep polls open by two extra hours in Hamilton County because of technical problems with voting equipment. The judge has yet to make a ruling.

Hamilton County is home to Cincinnati, the third largest city in the state.

ResponsibleOhio is the driving force behind Issue 3, which would legalize medical and recreational marijuana for residents 21 years and older. It would also allow 10 pre-designated sites to grow and manufacture pot.

 

Ohio Now A Battleground State For Marijuana

OHIO: Four states already allow recreational pot, but approved medical marijuana first. Now, Ohio could make history by legalizing both at the same time, and the pro-marijuana camp is ramping up as the days until the vote are counting down.

A new poll finds most Ohioans support legalization, but the campaign is stirring up controversy, reports CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.

Ian James, who spent 30 years as a campaign strategist in Ohio, is leading the charge to legalize pot in Ohio. He said his experience of working with President Obama’s national data team helped accelerate his campaign, which aims to knock on a million doors between now and Election Day.

“You’ve got that old saying of: ‘As goes Ohio, so goes the nation,'” he said.

Politically, Ohio is a battleground state. But right now, the battle is about the actual ground – one of the fields where marijuana could be grown.

Ohio Initiative Would Expunge Marijuana Crimes

OHIO:  Backers of a marijuana legalization amendment on this fall’s ballot filed petitions on Tuesday to put a separate proposed law in legislators’ laps to expunge criminal convictions for past pot offenses that would no longer be illegal.

The proposed initiated statute assumes voters will approve Issue 3 on Nov. 3 to make Ohio the first state east of Colorado to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes, which remains a big question mark.

But Ian James, executive director for ResponsibleOhio, said the group still will push what’s being called the Fresh Start Act if Issue 3 fails. The act could affect other activities that might be decriminalized by the legislature or voters.

“This allows people who’ve been convicted of offenses that are no longer illegal an ability to move forward, an ability to get expungement and sentencing review,” he said.