Columbus, OH: A majority of Ohio voters on Tuesday rejected Issue 3: The Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which sought to establish a limited legal market for the commercial production and sale of marijuana to adults. Among the measure's more controversial provisions was language limiting the issuance of commercial grow licenses to the initiative's financial investors.
NORML Deputy Director, Paul Armentano said: "We are disappointed though not 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."
A local Ohio measure seeking to depenalize marijuana-related offenses in the city of Logan was also rejected by voters on election day.
By contrast, voters in two Michigan cities -- Keego Harbor and Portage - decided in favor of local ordinances eliminating minor marijuana possession penalties.
Next year, voters in numerous states - including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada - will decide on ballot measures to regulate the production, use, and sale of cannabis to adults.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.