Legalization fails in Ohio

Marijuana legalization failed yesterday in Ohio by a margin of 64 per cent opposed, to 36 per cent in favour.

The lop-sided defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed recreational and medical cannabis in the state, known as Issue 3, pushed back reform in Ohio.

The $20 million campaign to legalize came under fire from opponents who balked at the measure’s details, which would have allowed only 10 pre-selected companies to control cultivation.

An anti-oligopoly sentiment led to the creation of Issue 2, an additional ballot amendment which prohibited monopolies from being enshrined in Ohio’s constitution.

While Issue 3 failed, voters pushed in Issue 2.

Organizers are looking at other factors to blame for the failure on Tuesday.

Unlike the other states that have legalized recreational cannabis in the U.S. (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington) Ohio had no medical marijuana program beforehand, and voters may have felt the leap to recreational was too far, too fast.

The vote also took place on odd year, unlike comparable legalization efforts where a vote was tied to the presidential election to draw out a higher turnout.