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Ohio Says No To Legalizing Recreational Pot And Medical Marijuana

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People in Ohio have voted against the passing of a proposal that would have made it legal to use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in the state.

Despite receiving support from Ohioans based on recent surveys, the measure known as Issue 3 was soundly beaten at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3, by a margin of almost two-to-one.

Around 65 percent of the voters chose to reject the proposal while 35 percent of them chose to support its passing.

Analysts said the initiative received much criticism for allowing its primary backers to have cartel-like authority over the medical marijuana industry in Ohio. This did not sit well with national advocacy groups that have supported the passing of such measures in other states.

Members of the Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance did not provide support for the passing of Issue 3, while those from the Law Enforcement Officers Against Prohibition and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws endorsed the bill only at the last moment.

"What was most offensive about [the Ohio measure] was that they wanted to make it a constitutionally mandated oligopoly in perpetuity," Ethan Nadelmann, a representative from the Drug Policy Alliance, said.

"It's clearly the case that the oligopoly provision turned people off."

With 75 percent of voting precincts accounted for, Issue 3 was defeated in each of the 87 counties in Ohio, with only one county not reporting.

The measure was also beaten in urban areas and counties in the state with a substantial population of college students. Only 887,327 of these voters favored the passing of Issue 3 while 1,628,521 shot it down.

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said that he was proud of his constituents who voted against the passing of the initiative and chose to support the strengthening of families and local communities instead.

As of the moment, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado and the District of Columbia remain as the only states to have adopted the legalization of marijuana for recreational uses.

Around 24 states, including California, Arizona, New York, Maryland and Vermont, allow the use of the substance for medical purposes.

Photo: James St. John | Flickr 

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