2015 Election Results Are In — Ohio’s Issue 3 Fails

map_leafVoters decided on several important marijuana measures on the state and local level today. Here are the results:

Issue 3, ResponsibleOhio failed to pass. (34.8%-65.1%)

Most notably was the controversial ResponsibleOhio measure that sought to permit the limited commercial production, retail sale, and personal use of cannabis for those 21 years or older in the state. The measure would have initially established 10 state-licensed commercial growing sites, allowed for 1,000 retail dispensaries, five regional testing facilities and also a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary system to provide access to those patients with a recommendation from a physician.

This proposal received a significant amount of backlash from Ohio residents who believed awarding the 10 growing licenses to private investors, who fronted the costs of the campaign, was overly restrictive in nature.

NORML Deputy Director, Paul Armentano said: “We are disappointed though not entirely surprised by the outcome of this vote. While it remains clear that a majority of Ohioans support ending criminal marijuana prohibition for adults, and patients in particular, the majority of the debate surrounding Issue 3 focused on provisions regarding the limited number of entities who would financially profit from this proposed market model. It has been clear for some time now that Americans want legal marijuana; it is also abundantly clear that most voters want the free market, not an artificially restricted one dictated by special interests, to govern this emerging marketplace. It is our hope that Ohio lawmakers will listen to the will of the people in Ohio and work toward crafting sensible legislation to regulate the adult use, production, and sale of marijuana in a manner that comports with the free-market values of Ohioans.”

Nonetheless, voter sentiment remains in favor of legalizing marijuana. Next November, voters are expected to decide on ballot measures regulating marijuana in a number of states including California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Arizona. These measures will not contain the restrictive provisions similar to those proposed in Ohio.

At the local level, residents in Keego Harbor and Portage, Michigan were also faced with a ballot decision today on whether or not to remove the criminal penalties associated with the possession, use, transfer and transportation of small amounts of marijuana. At this time, it has been confirmed that Keego Harbor has approved their ballot measure (55.3%-44.7%). Portage voters also narrowly approved their measure (50.6%-49.4%). Residents in Logan, Ohio voted on a similar depenalization measure that was defeated (56.9%-43%).

The results of two candidate races boded well tonight for marijuana law reform. In Kentucky, Republican candidate for Governor, Matt Bevin defeated Attorney General of Kentucky, Jack Conway. The Kentucky Governor in waiting has made supportive statements in the past for legalizing medical marijuana, while his opponent called marijuana a dangerous gateway to addiction.

Additionally, former city councilmen Jim Kenney won the race to become Philadelphia’s next mayor. Kenney championed the city’s now successfully implemented marijuana decriminalization measure and has expressed interest in reducing fines and enforcement even further.

54 thoughts

  1. So are you going do real Marijuana legalization Ohio? You know, your jobs as legislators? The people want Legal marijuana, not Oligarch Marijuana. So get to it already; or do you really want to waste even more money and time forcing your own people to go around their own legislature again???

  2. It seems that the word ‘monopoly’…

    -was either an accidental Achilles’ heel
    -or a clever ruse to sabotage this round

  3. It saddens me that so many are either uneducated or self righteous. Issue 3 would have helped countless sick and dying citizens, even children. So farmers wouldn’t get to grow enough weed, I think there’s a clear greater good here that was ruined by pettiness. The effect will be felt by every citizen, as politicians use this to their advantage to support big pharma. You sicken me Ohio, and I hope everyone with a brain feels the same.

  4. Glad to see the greed driven group r.o. fail. Now let’s get something reasonable and bennefitial for everybody on the ballot.

  5. Considering that cannabis should never had been made illegal in the first place, and that it’s less dangerous than caffeine, meaning re-legalization should be simple, this is an excruciating process. Yes everybody is pushing for an alcohol style model because of the “truthiness” factor that the two substances should be regulated similarly. The REAL truth is that cannabis does NOT actually require the same degree of tight regulation that alcohol does. Except politically. So frustrating.

  6. I live in Ohio and of course voted today. While polls show support for de-criminalizing marijuana, Issue 3 sought to amend the Ohio state constitution by granting 20 INDIVIDUALS an oligopoly with a flat tax rate of 15 percent.

    With NO legeslative interference through infinity.

    Not cool.

    [Editor’s note: Guess what is way not cooler? Over 10,000 arrests in Ohio for cannabis continuing, criminals the only source for cannabis, racial disparity in enforcement, no medical access to cannabis, no tax revenue, etc….

    Really not cool.]

  7. This was sad news–I was hoping for a Canada-Ohio one-two punch.

    It did occur to me, while struggling with the bad news, that this is not a “presidential election” year. I’ll have to console myself with that.

    Still, this should be a wake up call to those of us who believe national legalization is right around the corner; we still have to fight each battle. I nevertheless have much hope for 2016–with 6 or 7 states trying for legalization.

  8. Way to go Ohio…

    Not only did you reject “less-than-perfect”
    re-legalization, (Issue #3),
    you also made much more DIFFICULT,
    getting new, better measures on the ballot
    by approving Issue #2 …

    The proposed amendment, (Issue #2), would…

    Prohibit from taking effect
    any proposed constitutional amendment
    appearing on the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot
    that creates a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for the sale,
    distribution, or

  9. Good morning, Team NORML-
    and thank you for all your efforts-
    you will be a key part in our victory

    Now, the #3 failing in Ohio…

    Where do you think it went wrong-
    and what can we do best to make this work next time?

    Obviously, the associated key word, ‘MONOPOLY’, heavily damaged the effort.
    And there may have been other factors too…

    1-Who crafted this?

    2-Was this a result of something like a council, that compromised and then yielded a square wheel?

    3-Was this an honest effort that just fumbled?

    4-Was it ~coincidental that ‘monopoly’ was on people’s minds in conjunction with Issue 2??

    Issue 2 barely passed (blocking ~’monopolies’)
    while Issue 3 was torpedoed…

    *scratching my head*

    It seems we DO have the numbers-
    at least, according to polls, and my loose assessment of comments (if thats anything…)

    So –

    I am at a loss, not just dejected-
    “WTF, over.”


    again – thanks Team NORML.

  10. Unfortunately, the prohibitionists have hit upon a foolproof way to get legalizers to vote against themselves as well as a way to fe facto eliminate the ballot initiative in states that have it. The ‘monopoly’ wording was added by our right winger in charge so he could use issue two to neutralize it, and to ensure it never gets on the ballot again, and creating a situation where he can deny any citizen initiative he doesn’t like.

    So now there will never be legalization in Ohio, possibly not even if it is federally legalized. Is this state stupid? I’ve lived here my entire life and I am seriously considering moving. This isn’t the first time Ohioans have voted against their own interests and it probably won’t be the last. I hope every pot user who voted against issue 3 gets arrested and goes to prison, because they deserve it.

  11. To take a chance by allowing monopolization of the market killed the bills chances. You took an electorate that agreed and added one piece of legislation that destroyed its chances. Those who petitioned for regulation and legalization were let down when this bill was introduced. If you were going on compassion instead of greed then Ohio would of passed even with it being an off year where the majority of voters vote conservatively, just like how the republicans took the house. The only ones to blames are the ones who thought they could sneak the provision in. I bet the other states without the monopoly on the ballot passes even if they are limited similarly because you scared off voters. Now more people will suffer. This is not right.

  12. First off , me being from OHiO would like to thank hightimes
    For all there support ( lol ) !?!?!
    Guess we know why it still mostly illegal in New York
    Don’t we hightimes ( LOL ) !!!!
    And THANK YOU NORML OHIO chapter
    For knowing that sometimes it’s better too get a small piece sometime ,than none at all !!!
    It wasn’t the best plan and it didn’t sit with me well either, though I was able to put that aside .
    Though I wouldn’t have made any money from the passing of issue 3 in Ohio only able to home grow .
    And to share with friends .but seems ,
    That fact isn’t good enough for the greedy people
    Always worried about getting rich off people
    Though I haven’t sent you or other activists money
    I always tried to vote the way to help the ( cause )
    I’m getting older and don’t have a lot of money to give out (just enough to pay my bills and meds for the wife
    And food on the table ) maybe there is no ( cause )
    Just a bunch of self righteous people looking to get money out of the hands of other people
    I can say that (RO ‘ S ) plan was ,they were looking to make money ,but they put $ millions on the line for people .can you say that you did Ohio justice ???
    By not supporting the issue here (that was for hightimes ) because I believe they are the one that you are working with, though .NORML you should look
    At other options than HT that working with them seems there site just want to sell you there stuff there friends made to make MONEY and after all
    When there sitting back in Colorado doing dabs
    I really dought there concerns are that they worry about what is constitutional or not it was about legalizing something that people care about and maybe I’m wrong In directing my anger at ht they have done a lot for legalization but seems they could have put pride aside for brief moment and show how
    Humble they are in things, where some people wouldn’t have made a lot $$ so I ask this put your money ht where your moth and don’t sell crap on your web site that you know to be junk after all it’s about doing the right thing !!!am I right
    And again NORML thanks for fighting the good fight
    There is not many good hearted people
    I hope one day I will be one
    thx for reading Alan

  13. I appreciate the work those at normal do I really do but I don’t know how we didn’t see this coming.. You are intelligent so why take such a risk? I understand that states like limiting e amount of growers so its easie and cheaper to control but that same trend is destroying small businesses that can’t compete. Then after the competition is gone and the public has no income other than from the big store the store starts cutting employees to and the money goes to the CEO and investors. Abusing the area and its citizens then eventually leaving or getting kicked out. The story of America.. People see a problem but don’t know how to fix it. When they see a provision that adds to promoting large box stores they get nervous. Just some advice.. now we all have to deal with the consequences of his. People will die and we could have done something to make it easier for them.. Compassion failed this time.

    [Editor’s note: Unlike some other cannabis law reform groups who don’t know if they’re anti-prohibitionist or not, NORML has been supporting pro-reform cannabis legalization initiatives–win or lose–since CA’s failed ‘LeMar’ (Legalize Marijuana) initiative in 1972.

    NORML is an anti-prohibition organization regarding cannabis. Period.

    The organization seeks an end to arrests, not picking who economically wins or loses when it comes to the marijuana industry. That kind of mega social engineering is left to others.

    Now, and for the foreseeable future, the taxpayer-funded atrocities of cannabis prohibition in Ohio will keep chewing up 10,000-14,000 lives a year; patients no access to valuable and safe medicine.]

  14. Aaaand thats why we don’t put these ballots out of Presidential elections. Clearly, only older Republicans still brainwashed from prohibition vote during these off seasons. And for Crissake 10 Dispensaries is NOT a monopoly!! Did issue 2 even pass? If so EVERY major industry in Ohio including legal drug stores, private prisons and even major airlines need to shut down because theyre operating with less than 10 companies. STUPid.
    And Paul; I know it was probably late when you wrote this hastily in response to the polls, but how does Matt Bevin “bode well” for legalization? This dipshit doesnt even want to expand medicaid in a state that was the most successful at expanding Obamacare, much less legalize marijuana.
    Glad to hear of some success in Phili.

  15. I agree completely with the NORML philosophy of ending arrests being the main motivation for reform. The people in Ohio sound like the cast of “Hogan’s Heroes” cleverly demanding better terms from Schultz and Klink.

  16. My fervor in supporting Issue 3 in Ohio was tempered by the distaste many share for the oligopoly that would have been constitutionally enshrined. I was short-sighted in thinking that eventual national legalization would have forced an eventual reconsideration of the amendment. I was swayed in thinking that anything is better than the current status quo. I was wrong and the nation should salute and heed the Ohio activists who said we are willing to endure a few more years of Prohibitionist oppression than to accede to the yoke of carpetbaggers and their monied interests. The Prohibitionists need to understand that what Ohio is saying is that 50 years of fighting this battle can’t be assuage with 30 pieces of silver. Thank you Ohioans for taking the hit.

  17. I’m not surprised… who wants to vote for a bill designed to make 10 people wealthy? The bill’s defeat was built in.

    [Editor’s note: More disturbing than who does and does not get rich post-pot prohibition, when given a choice at the ballot box to end cannabis prohibition, who would want to vote to keep cannabis prohibition in place?

    Unfortunately, about 65% of OH voters.

    Because of such, pot prohibition continues on in the state…unabated…maybe for years and decades.]

  18. So after some time calming down and medicating I have come to thfoncluwion that if it is not too late we can change few bullet points on the bill and re introduce a bill next year during the primary where you are guaranteed a better and more realistic view of how the public would vote. As of now the states after Ohio are less likely to pass because the efforts of deciet telling those that we didn’t want legalization. Skewed vote.. They add the issue two in three days. We can do it.

    [Editor’s note: Ummm…writing some words down on paper is the easy part. The raising of the millions of dollars necessary to gather signatures, place measure on ballot and champion…that may not happen again in OH any time soon.

    ‘Enjoy’ continued pot prohibition in OH…you, and 65% of the state’s voters (of the 30% voter turn out) unwisely, voted to keep pot prohibition going there!]

  19. Holy Crap Ohio! Issue 2 passed allowing the ballot board to define whatever a “monopoly” is while scrutinizing an ballot initiative, meaning from now on they can strike down any new voter initiative unless you sue the ballot board over the definition of a monopoly!
    So here’s an idea investors; pass an “anti-monopoly” voter initiative declaring marijuana an open source commodity and set up the regulation for cities and local juristictions to determine the number of dispensaries. That’ll piss off the legislature… And whoever else supports prohibition.

  20. It seems that this worry about monopolizing overshadowed one big thing, decriminalization. The law could have been modified or replaced later. This was a real foot in the door for change, now it’s just a foot in the mouth. As your Hoosier neighbor, i would have jumped all over a chance like that. Not going to jail or paying fines sounds way better than buying from a corporate entity. Now go get your Starbucks and iPhones from your independent retailers, oh wait, never mind.

  21. “[Editor’s note: Guess what is way not cooler? Over 10,000 arrests in Ohio for cannabis continuing, criminals the only source for cannabis, racial disparity in enforcement, no medical access to cannabis, no tax revenue, etc….

    Really not cool.”

    Yeah, it really isn’t. How about that though? This is a clear sign Americans are tired things being set up like a pyramid scheme. This version of marijuana legalization is Un-American and there isn’t any fixing it. It is the same for laws which don’t include grow your own provisions, but something like can be easily fixed. But this oligarchy would be a lot more difficult to fix as Ohio’s politics are apparently broken and isn’t capable of doing things, they’ll just start becoming addicted to money flow and become scared about messing with it.

    Legalizing marijuana would have happened if this law was structured in a more capitalist way, an oligarchy is a system for cheaters that believe they cannot compete and marijuana is not the kind of resource that needs a large infrastructure like oil and electricity require and people can see it is just a bit too much of a cheat in what is supposed to be a free market.

    This is a clear sign people shouldn’t waste their time and money pushing for this model of marijuana legalization. It will certainly be flushed even during a major election cycle, just not quite as hard.

  22. Ohio voters were apparently not swayed to vote for Issue 3 so that medical marijuana would be legal when it is tied to adult recreational.


    Ohio voters want both medical and adult recreational legalized, but their aversion to replacing the monopoly of the drug (Mexican) cartels with a state constitutional monopoly.

    Why would you want to replace a monopoly of one kind with a monopoly of a different kind? Arguably, it would not have been a monopoly insofar as the retailing of it goes, but the opposition did a better job selling their argument to those voters who decided to turn out.

    Washington, D.C., again I pose the question as to whether or not the federal budget that President Obama signed into law does anything to untie the hands of DC to move forward with brick and mortar adult recreational cannabis.

    Is anything in the recently passed federal budget that would allow DC to move forward with adult recreational?

  23. I am a Marijuana activist and live in Ohio, I voted against Issue 3 because it would have done ZERO to curb arrests

    All marijuana currently in circulation would have remained illegal and may have brought higher penalties to the majority of the cannabis culture that resides in Ohio.

    Our vote can not be bought by a group, whom, in the beginning didn’t even want to include homegrow in the law, then when that got called out, the included it, but it remained illegal to transport or make an sorts of edibles or extracts in your home

    This group would try to shut up activists at “public” forums for asking the “wrong” questions

    the amendment had a “protection” clause as an attempt to prevent any future change

    if you want big pharma/industry/philip morris types to control the very plant they attempted to eradicate, then be mad at us in Ohio

    But those of us who were forced to review the amendment, more than once, made the educated decision that it was bad public policy to use the State Constitution to enshrine any group to have control over any market

    [Editor’s note: Self-described ‘activists’ in states like WA, CO and OR–who opposed legalization initiatives claiming ‘imperfection’–also claimed, incredibly, that cannabis arrests would remain the same post prohibition. What is the actual result? A massive reduction in arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations (i.e., in a state like WA, arrests went from approx. 11,500 annually down to <200).

    Because OH voters, notably some 'activists', voted against #3, assuredly the mass arrests from pot prohibition will continue in the state.]

  24. I’ve supported full legalization for years, and I would have voted no to this if I were in Ohio (given the current knowledge I have of the bill). It stinks of government and capitalist cronyism, and is a perfect example of what is wrong with our government – Big money using government to pass laws to favor them, eliminate completion, and exploit the middle and lower classes. And “Editor”, I see all your notes, and understand your frustration. But the voters did the right thing. People are going to continue to suffer, yes. But this is a war (on drugs), and as such, you must also consider the end game. Being ripped off and exploited is another form of suffering. Those that need it, can still get it. But had this bill passed, everyone would have had to endure the suffocation of the market for years.

    [Editor’s note: If you have genuine concern for ending the war on drugs (and it’s violent, corrupting exploitation…as compared to feared ‘corporate exploitation’), voting in favor to continue it makes little sense.

    That some activists in Ohio bought into the government’s anti-marijuana propaganda that Initiative #3 created a ‘monopoly’, when there was none, is not without ironic notice.

    Too bad when the hundreds of victims of cannabis prohibition in Ohio who call/email NORML monthly for legal help, or patients who can’t legally access therapeutic cannabis, that the organization can’t refer them to folks like you…so you can cogently explain why you’d actually have voted to keep pot prohibition in place.

    For NORML, the world’s oldest and largest cannabis activist group, the calculus is simple: end cannabis arrests, replace with tax-n-regulate policies. (That is what ALL of the previous 12-15 cannabis legalization initiatives in America–whether they were ‘winners’ or ‘losers’– sought to achieve, imperfect as they were, so too, by logical extension, the Ohio initiative was endorsed by NORML.)

    Instead, in part because a majority of the small percentage of actual voters who turned out (i.e., which trend older and more conservative than general elections) bought the government’s anti-monopoly propaganda, along with so-called mainstream media re-enforcing the government’s opposition (surely was not the actual opponents in the state to legalization who apparently got outspent 20:1), pot prohibition will continue to rage in the state.

    An opportunity to seriously impact the war on some drugs was squandered in OH this week.]

  25. It’s like the November 2010 California Proposition 19 all over again. Siding with the Federal monopoly (prohibition) over State monopoly (legalization)? I’ve guess States Rights is still a bad word up there. Prohibition played you well Ohio.

  26. PROPAGANDA! A heavy barrage of fear driven propaganda aimed at the greedy sponsors who penned this proposition. Law makers basically sit on their hands and do nothing until a voter initiative shows up. The people are out played once again by outside influence. The opposition bill crafted by lawmakers was designed to pull down the necessary numbers to pass. This is a close issue poll wise so a few percentage points shaved off will be all it takes to defeat. In FLORIDA the medical mj bill was defeated by a heavily financed add campaign during the last week before voting. No sponsor responded to these negative adds so they were accepted as truth. It seams like they failed to respond to false claims but spent 25 mil. in other areas. Florida had an add with two little school girls walking on the side walk through town and are forced to walk around a wooden marque with a marijuana leaf on it. Ohio had an add with a child’s hand reaching for an edible candy. Ohio lawmakers may come up with something before a public initiative comes a calling once again!

  27. Get a grip, people, 2/3rds don’t want legalized pot. The details could have been changed with amendments, but the general intent was there, and, let’s face it, Ohio doesn’t want freedom. It prefers draconian, antiquated controls from a system custom-created to oppress minorities, the young, and the less financially fortunate.
    Booyah, high-in-the-middle-and-round-on-the-enders ! You got what you’ve bargained for.

  28. Very disappointing.

    I think it’s even worse to see articles and headlines claiming Ohio has decided not to legalize marijuana. As if that’s the whole story. Problem is so many of the folks that don’t pay attention to this issue and remain susceptible to landing on the prohibitionist side of the fence get misled by BS headlines and stories claiming the people decided against legalization without telling the truth about why most of the 65 percent opted not to vote for it.

    Monopoly is a fun game but most Americans don’t approve of a monopoly in real life.

    Hopefully we vote for cannabis in CA next year and get it done this time. Fix the flaws later if needed. No selfish sabotage this time, I’m talking to YOU, Humboldt County.

  29. Seems like this editor would accept any ballot conditions, regardless of the encroachment on other freedoms, as long as pot is decrimmed in OH.

    [Editor’s note: Cannabis has been decriminalized in Ohio since 1978. NORML favors LEGALIZATION, not decriminalization. The passage of #3 in OH would have ended cannabis prohibition and legalized the production, sale, possession of cannabis products for adult and medical use.

    You know what is the biggest and most obvious ‘encroachment’ if you grow, sell or use cannabis?
    Cannabis prohibition and it’s attending violence (from BOTH the government and criminals).

    ALL cannabis legalization initiatives since 1972 are flawed, have warts, are imperfect—and NORML has supported them ALL as far better alternatives to the status quo of cannabis prohibition.

    If you wait for the so-called ‘wholly acceptable in my mind’ (or in the minds of some ‘ideal’) cannabis legalization initiative, you’ll probably die decades from now in rapt hope.

    If NORML had waited for such historically (circa 1972)…there would not have been the passage of a series of ‘flawed’ initiatives in CA, WA, AK, CO, OR, ME, ME, DC, MI, etc…instead, because an activist group like NORML did endorse these less-than-ideal initiatives, the country is on the brink of national cannabis legalization.

    In politics, perfect is the enemy of good. Too bad the small percentage of voters who turned out in an off-off year election in Ohio didn’t come to recognize this re ending cannabis prohibition.

    Cannabis is becoming legal in the US because some people (and organizations) understand this truism more than others.]

  30. Do people realize that this bill would have allowed people to grow their own pot…monopoly or not? Ohio wakeup…potheads you really care that Nick Lachey would get rich that bad? This bill would have opened over 1100 stores state wide. In corporate America who gives a crap shoot making the millions ..who would have worked in those stores? The ten kingpins? Ohio…duuuur

  31. So let me get this straight! Ohio voted against legalization just because they don’t want 10 investors to make money right? So y’all are telling me that Ohio rather keep its residents dying from cancer, suffering from multiple seizures a day and suffering from eating disorders, insomnia and many other diseases/illnesses (illnesses/diseases cured by marijuana) and all at the same time arresting and keeping non-violent recreational marijuana consumers locked up behind bars??? So let me register this once again! Ohio, you are going to keep arresting and locking up peaceful recreational marijuana consumers instead of arresting and locking up the many rapists, pedophiles, killers and violent criminals on the lose that truly belong in prison??? Well Congratulations Ohio, I hope you are all really happy now…..

  32. Between the off year election (mostly old people who vote then), 30% voter turnout and having the name of the issue as “Allow a Marijuana Monopoloy” its no wonder it failed so badly.

    Still have hopes for 2016. There is a better bill by a group called LegalizeOhio2016 which has been working throughout this year under the assumption issue 3 would fail.
    Also, two of the leaders of ResponsibleOhio stated that they will try again next year with a bill that has no monopoly aspect to it.
    If ResponsibleOhio joins/allies with LegalizeOhio2016 it could give 2016 a good chance to atleast make it on the ballot. I believe that many of the people who voted No to legalize in 2015 were against the concept of “allowing a marijuana monopoly to a chosen few”, not against legalization. Another large amount of Yes votes is lost because of the off year election, which is usually always lower turnout with more older people.

    It was roughly 36% yes 64% no to legalize. The question is, if they are able to get a proper legalization bill up for vote in 2016, would the combination of people who voted no before because of the monopoly aspect combined with the higher percentage of voter turnout and younger voters be able to get that 36% raised to 51%.
    Polls show Ohio is for legalization but theres variables. Even if they cant manage to legalize in 2016, if we could atleast have another vote with something more like 45% yes 55% no it would still help to change some of the oppositions current opinions on Ohios feelings towards MJ, which is that a large majority of people voted against legalization whereas the truth is many of those people were pro-legalization and anti-monopoly.

    [Editor’s note: The organizers and investors in the OH effort certainly didn’t create a sufficient winning narrative at a time of increased support for cannabis legalization, and they may well re-organize and try again (assumedly with a different strategy).

    Along with not following the general advice of long time cannabis law reform groups to launch their effort during a presidential election (when 70% of voters come out, as compared to around 30% during off-off year elections), saddled with no previous ballot initiatives on medical cannabis or decriminalization (the 1978 decriminalization legislation in OH can be credited to a single citizen–not a group of activists–former NORML board member Richard Wolf), ResponsibleOhio was flying in face of history of legalization initiatives being successful in the modern era (circa 2012) as AK, CO, OR, WA and DC had all previously had one or more pro-cannabis law reform ballot initiative debated and/or passed by voters.

    If past serves as prologue, OH voters might have to take one or two more bites at the political apple with future cannabis legalization initiatives before one will get majority support from voters.

    No state, yet, has gone from ‘zero to hero’ re ending cannabis prohibition.]

  33. What a disappointment that so many in the cannabis community are apparently incapable of critical thinking…

    And an inability to distinguish between dreams and the actually possible…

    The prohibitionists would say it’s ’cause they been smoking dope.

    The choice seemed clear: either continue ruining lives with cannabis prohibition or end it.

    But, gee whiz, somebody already rich gonna get richer. Are you F-ing kidding me? You do realize that is just the way of things, even in supposedly socialist countries? The 1% are at the top, everywhere.

    Last time I looked the Mexican drug cartels had rooms full of cash due to the black market. Much of it from underground sales in Ohio.

    Yes, a vote for #3 would likely have made the RO investors richer…but would have ended the cannabis arrests…it would have ended the label of criminal for merely growing-using a natural plant for personal consumption.

    And a no vote on #3 sustains the violent Mexican cartel as well as war on cannabis people…and makes the already cash-swamped cartel richer.

    The cannabis folks that *selfishly* left the sandbox with all their toys and went home (i.e. those that voted no on #3) should be first in line for continued Ohio pot busts…and the accompanying loss of jobs or job prospects, driver’s license suspensions of up to 5 years, and the like.

    That Issue #2 passed may foreclose future ballet initiative efforts.

    Successful ballot initiative efforts are extremely expensive and we were fortunate that ResponsibleOhio stepped up with the $$$ and gave us a chance to RE-legalize in Ohio.

    Now we will wait who knows how long?

    Parental ties tie me to Ohio for now.

    When they are gone, if Ohio is still wallowing in the cannabis dark ages…I am outta here and heading West…

  34. I want to emphasize this thing about worrying about who’s gonns get rich or richer…

    Yes, a vote for #3 would likely have made the RO investors richer…but would have ended the cannabis arrests…it would have ended the label of criminal for merely growing-using a natural plant for personal consumption.

    And a no vote on #3 sustains the violent Mexican cartel as well as war on cannabis people…and makes the already cash-swamped cartel richer.

    So, either way, a vote on Issue #3 was actually a vote to make *somebody* already rich, richer…

    A vote of yes would have made RO investors richer…

    A vote of no continues the river of cash to the violent nasty Mexican drug cartel, which happens to be richer that all the RO investors combined.

    I’d rather the $$$ flow to greedy investors rather just all of it to murderers…

    But that’s just me…

  35. Lenny, the monopolies would have created a mess. Why not allow the citizens the opportunity to grow and be the industry. Regulate however but leave the power in the hands of the people. Rich shouldn’t get richer here. It’s America’s last great and venturous industry and it’s been the people’s industry since the Egyptians. Don’t let the government take this one thing we own still away from us. People will get medicine regardless of who produces it. Allow middle class this. Opens doors for grow supplies stores, salespeople, transporters, farmers, the list goes on. Don’t ruin it by being naive to what the government says will work and be good.

    [Editor’s note: Cannabis prohibition is far more negative and consequential to businesses/individuals caught up in prohibition enforcement than supposed monopolies. There already are currently so-called monopolies on cannabis production and sales in most every state circa 2010 that has passed cannabis law reform (MA, ME, VT, CT, NY, DC, NJ, CE, MD, IL, NM, etc…).

    Aren’t these less-than-perfect reforms better than pot prohibition for growers, sellers and consumers/patients?]

  36. The people of Ohio need to make it very clear in the next election how they feel about legislation that only works for the aristocratic elite.
    I think the next task for the Ohio chapter of NORML is to make sure the people don’t forget why this failed, rather than alienate anyone who understands the difference between freedom and a legislated monopoly.

    [Editor’s note: The task of NORML chapters is to support legalization, not the status quo of decriminalization.

    Rather than have prohibition end in OH this week by popular vote, thereby creating over 1,000 retail outlets in OH to purchased cannabis products (botanicals to hash oils to edibles), cannabis consumers and patients will indeed not be giving their hard earned money to so-called ‘aristocratic elite’, instead, they’ll largely keep giving their ganja money to gangs, syndicates and individual criminals who don’t pay taxes/are not regulated.

    Not even a chance to avoid the criminal element by having home cultivation.

    Oh, and the human carnage and expense to taxpayers in OH trying to enforce pot prohibition, that will now go on unabated. Post election, some in OH government and law enforcement see the rejection of #3 as support for pot prohibition lasting another 100 years in the state.]

  37. Put full repeal on the ballot in Ohio in 2016. Just blanket, full repeal.

    “The state of Ohio shall not prohibit, tax or regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, gift, possession of, or research regarding marijuana, cannabis or hemp in any manner other than the sorts of regulation and taxation generally applicable to all agricultural products, or the sort of regulation and taxation generally applicable to over-the-counter medical products. The state of Ohio and all its subdivisions and municipalities shall not expend any money or provide any assistance to federal officials in enforcing any federal laws which prohibit, regulate, or tax cultivation, processing, sale, gift, possession of, or research regarding marijuana, cannabis, or hemp.”

    It’ll pass. And you can get enough funding to put it on the ballot. There would be a lot of small-dollar donations and campaigning, and a huge number of people interested in the business side would go for it because of the very-low-regulation environment which would result.

  38. I am sadden that this did not pass, We could have at least the right to grow four plants per person. Not get arrested for having a pipe or small amount of cannabis. How long will we have to wait this time ,for another chance to legalize cannabis. I know it was not the best, but at least our foot would have been in the door.

  39. RO’s way cost to open a retail shop was around $25,000
    Colorado’s cost to open retail shop $300,000-$500,000
    Plus limited deductions on taxes forcing shops in Colorado to go belly up
    If all the people that voted no on issue 3 if your proud
    Of that. when you open your shop put a sign up saying that you voted against issue 3
    then I’ll know that you cared only about making money and not about people
    funny that people that voted against issue 3 want to be the one’s that make money Your the problem not the answer and it sick that you think that you did it for the greater good
    but don’t be remorseful now put up the $$ millions of
    Dollars and put it back on the ballot you moron
    Where’s your money now

  40. Sorry NORML for my last comment
    It’s a hard blow to think that people are so heartless here in Ohio , after all the good that has been shown
    To them from a plant ,that they couldn’t see anything
    Good from that issue 3 ( afraid they will miss out ) I guess .
    Those of us that just want to kick back have a toke
    And relax ,upsets so many people when no harm has come to them ( and they don’t see the harm they inflict on us )
    As for retai shops thinkers maybe some of us don’t want to buy
    smoke from you .we would be perfectly happy to grow our own think about that
    As for farmers they could have filed for ballot to legalize that , why does it seem that people need everything on one ballot
    But anyhow the damage has been done for now
    And thanks to all the tokers that voted yes on 3
    I guess there was about 937,000 or something close to that Thanks for reading Alan

    P.S I give you all respect NORML
    one question didn’t someone get fired from supporting the issue from the staff or was he able to come back seems he needs a thank you also seems
    He was a compass for NORML please don’t lose your way like hightimes

  41. Nathanael that’s a decent idea. Wouldn’t take anything to set up a fund either. I am starting to be more convinced that some of those who voted against 3 are profitting from the illegality and possibly couldn’t compete with the better smoke because
    honestly these growers are harvesting 8 week strains at like 6 weeks the shit is way under developed.

  42. well Ohio doesn’t care about legalization because most people are beer chugging alcoholics who don’t care about those of us who are biologically wired differently and don’t enjoy alcohol but really love weed. go ahead and drink yourselves into a jaundiced stupor Ohio. Like several other posters here, if/when I get the chance to move and Ohio is still in the dark ages I’m outta here.

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