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Ohio Voters Reject ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative


ohio signIt appears that the Ohio marijuana legalization initiative, Issue 3, has lost. The final tallies will take awhile, but there are enough ballots counted and such a wide margin of defeat that the math shows the writing on the wall. It looks like the initiative is going to lose by a large margin. The big question that I’m sure most marijuana activists are thinking (and Ohio marijuana consumers), is ‘where does Ohio go from here?’

The most common answer to that question I would assume would be ‘what about 2016?’ 2016 is certainly possible, but it’s not that far away, and there are only a handful of months to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures. It’s possible, but it will take a ton of money, and a lot of feet hitting the pavement with clipboards in hand to gather signatures.

It’s time for all marijuana activists to put their money where their mouth is. Or clicks. Or volunteer hours. Or whatever they can offer. Ohio cannot be left behind. There were very few national marijuana reform organizations that supported Issue 3, all of which said that Ohio could do better. Well, now it’s time to prove it. I challenge all national organizations to band together to bring an end to marijuana prohibition in Ohio. The same goes for activists that publicly opposed the effort.

No one has any excuse for not following through on their words leading up to Election Day 2015 in Ohio. I’m fine with people having their opinions, and voting the way they want, or having the political stance that they do. That’s what makes America great. What I’m not OK with is people sitting on their butts trying to tear down other people’s efforts without putting in the leg work to make better efforts become a reality. Anyone who opposed Issue 3, yet doesn’t do everything that they can to help get legalization on the ballot again in a better form, is a jerk in my book.

The next Ohio legalization effort starts now. Right now. Activists in Ohio need to get organized, and national organizations and activists need to back them up. It’s that simple. Obviously there is interest in marijuana legalization in Ohio, and victory can be achieved if everyone works together. This initiative was rejected, but that doesn’t mean that a better one can’t win. Kevin Sabet and his spin doctors will tell you otherwise, but we all know how out of touch Kevin Sabet is. If people and organizations drag their feet, 2016 will come and go, at which point the next Presidential election year won’t be until 2020, which is when national funders like to traditionally fund marijuana reform campaigns. Ohio patients and consumers don’t deserve to wait that long. In the case of many patients, they can’t wait that long. We all owe it to Ohio to not leave them behind. I will fight as hard as I can from Oregon to help. Everyone should be experience the freedoms that I experience in my home state.

I want to thank the ResponsibleOhio campaign for making marijuana legalization in Ohio a major issue. People can say what they want about the initiative’s model, and about how the campaign was ran, but no one can deny that the topic of marijuana reform in Ohio is as salient with Ohio residents as ever. While I did not agree with everything in the initiative, and certainly didn’t agree with ‘Buddie’ the marijuana mascot, I did support the campaign’s end result of keeping people out of jail, and helping patients get safe access to medicine. The amount of grief and hate that was directed at ResponsibleOhio was like nothing I have ever seen since I started this blog in 2010, and I think while some of it was warranted, a lot of it was disgusting and ridiculous, so I tip my hat to the ResponsibleOhio campaign staff for taking all of that flack.

It’s tough to say if this is a rejection of the ‘investor model’ of marijuana legalization since the voter turnout was so low in Ohio, and it’s the 2015 election cycle, and Ohio is a bit unique in some regards. I guess we will see if people with deep pockets in other states try to run similar initiatives. Ohio will never see an initiative like this one again with such a resounding defeat and the apparent passage of Issue 2, much to the delight of marijuana activists. I would imagine that the results in Ohio are not going to help sway any other investors into pooling together tens of millions of dollars for a legalization initiative like this one in other states.

I hope that Ohio marijuana advocates, and advocates at the national level, can heal some of the wounds and fix some of the relationships that were severed during this election cycle. We all want an end to marijuana prohibition, and while we disagree about what that looks like, we need to band together in order to achieve the end result. Debate is fine. Hate is not. Hopefully time will heal the problems caused by the tension, and we can all get to work on legalizing marijuana in Ohio sooner rather than later, because Ohio patients and consumers are depending on it! Legalize it!

Below is a reaction from Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority:

“When it comes to the broader debate about legalizing marijuana, the defeat of Issue 3 won’t be a case of ‘as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.’ This was about a flawed measure and a campaign that didn’t represent what voters want. Tonight’s results — and the choices that inevitably led up to them —  are especially sad for Ohioans who use marijuana and will continue to be treated like criminals for no good reason. And this is particularly heartbreaking for those who need medical cannabis to treat serious ailments.
“It’s a shame Ohio voters didn’t have the opportunity to consider sensible legalization in 2015. Hopefully it’ll only be another election cycle or two until a more responsible team secures enough funding to put a better initiative on the ballot. Perhaps even the same group of investors cares enough about the real reasons for legalization to humbly receive the message Ohio voters just sent and try again in 2016 with a smarter proposal that establishes a more fairly regulated market.
“Several polls leading up to Election Day showed that a clear majority of Ohioans support legalizing marijuana, but voters won’t tolerate this issue being taken over by greedy special interests. Our ongoing national movement to end marijuana prohibition is focused on civil rights, health and public safety, not profits for small groups of investors. This campaign also turned off many long-time legalization advocates by irresponsibly using a marijuana superhero mascot as a prop, which unnecessarily stoked our opponents’ fears about marketing to kids.
“A majority of Americans support legalization, and that’s why we’re going to see a large number of states voting on — and passing — truly responsible marijuana ballot measures next year.”


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. JT, these turkeys that voted for Thanksgiving are part of a 5th column that became imbedded in the cannabis movement. That’s what the fascist prohibitionists like Kevin Sabet have accomplished. It’s a disease that’s destroying the movement and these jackals use buzz words like “monopoly”, Monsanto and others to convince people to vote on their own criminality. It is asymmetric warfare.

  2. No. We all had a dog in that fight. As Russ Belville said, with that one event, the reform organizations forever lost the moral high ground by turning their backs on Ohio marijuana consumers.

  3. Allowed it? They already approved it. There were already deals signed to sublease or sell to various growers and researchers. Did you really not know that?

  4. Crazy. – Almost always, the banking district is concentrated in two or three blocks of a town, very likely leasing from the same property owner.

    Do you think there’s no competition between those banks?

  5. It’s amazing to see all these crocodile tears over the very temporary advantage R.O. would have had. Two, three years at most, before the national marijuana market takes over. – And hundreds of thousands of Ohio marijuana consumers will now have to be criminals for years to come for – nothing really.

  6. Of course they cared about consumer freedom. I heard their interviews and it was clear they were vitally interested in that. – These people had far safer and better ways to invest their money.

    As it is, they lost more than $20 million. They could have just bought an office building and done a lot better.

  7. No. As you say, the voters were not stupid. They knew R.O. would make a profit in return for marijuana consumers’ freedom, and would have been okay with that. But the incredibly massive, corrupt campaign of deception was more than they could handle.

    Issue 2 was the Mother of all deceptions. The voter’s did not see through the smoke screens to realize they were giving away their already tiny voice in government.

  8. Nonsense. – The brief advantage R.O. investors would have had was a small price to pay for giving hundreds of thousands of Ohio marijuana consumers their freedom.

  9. No. R.O. was totally transparent. They were offering the incredible freedom of marijuana consumers in return for a brief advantage in the market.

    If they had not been bombarded with the massive campaign of deception, voters would have naturally taken this bargain.

  10. Right. Also because the national marijuana market will soon arrive and sweep all local arrangements away.

    Willie’s Reserve and Marley Natural are far into the planning stages, and ready to move next November.

    Check out their web sites.

  11. Corruption? LOL!!!!
    In my life, I have never seen such an unholy, corrupt alliance as the Ohio state legislature, prohibition forces, and the greedy, black-market growers.

    They all worked together to fool voters about the real nature of Issue 3. Not business, not who gets rich. But simply one question:

    Should adult marijuana consumers be punished or not?

    The great coalition of corruption deceived and distracted the voters into thinking it was about something else. And the major reform orgs sat on their hands and watched as the freedom of Ohio marijuana consumers went down in flames.

    As Russ Belville said, with this one event, reform forever lost the moral high ground.

  12. No. That was what people like you fooled the voters into thinking. Marijuana consumers would have been tickled pink, even if legalization included the state growing and selling all the marijuana – similar to the way some states have state-run liquor stores. Issue 3 provide exponentially more general economic opportunity than that.

    Marijuana was never about the money or the “business.” It was about ending the war on marijuana consumers – period. – Issue 3 would have done that.

    If marijuana reform cannot break loose from the spell of greed, they will be sitting ducks for Kevin Sabet’s “Big Marijuana” scare, and will be easily shot down.

    Get back to the basics – the consumers – or you will have gone down a long, dark, dead-end road.

  13. stellarvoyager on

    Whatever the reasons are that it failed, it will be spun as a defeat for legalization. And you can’t deny that the result will be more people like the lady I described having their families torn apart and their lives ruined needlessly. So I guess the wrong people making money is more of a concern than stopping the abuse of poor communities and communities of color. And it was their last opportunity to legalize, now that issue 2 has passed. Ohio’s next opportunity to legalize marijuana won’t happen for another decade or more. In fact, Ohio will still be illegal even after federal prohibition has ended. This was their golden opportunity, and they blew it. Now, Ohio will simply be written off. Whatever, they made their bed, so they can lie in it. I don’t have a dog in that show, since I don’t live there.

  14. saynotohypocrisy on

    There was a pretty liberal right to grow provision, 4 flowering plants, 8 ounces of stash, and I think no limit on immature plants (not sure of that). The cannabis community could have organized to maximize that right, with seed giveaways, growing advice and trying to find places to grow for people who couldn’t do it where they live.
    But this is all kind of water under the bridge now.

    Ohio cannabis consumers are still a lot luckier than many others, they still have the power to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and a less self-serving proposal would probably pass. RO may come up with one themselves next year.

  15. saynotohypocrisy on

    Legalization in a corrupt environment is not the end of the fight.

    Does anyone think it is, or would have been in Ohio? If Issue 3 passed, the struggle for more equitable commercial growing rights would have begun. .
    The reform community was split on this, but like Johnny Green is saying, the focus has to be on the future. Surprisingly, RO says they’ll be back next year, apparently in compliance with Issue 2, so the people saying reform in dead in Ohio for a long time may be wrong.

  16. saynotohypocrisy on

    The Ohio legislature is being inhuman in not approving medicinal marijuana. And they’re being fascists, because 90% of Ohio voters want it legal.

  17. So True!! I’m an independent who can’t stand either the Extreme Left or the Extreme Right. Both are horrible and the worst of it is that you can’t get elected anymore if you are a common-sense moderate. To get elected, you now have to be an extremist, which is why the parties are so far apart on every issue. We need a 3rd option; I think a Common Sense party would crush the other two. Might not ever happen because the other two dominate the money.

  18. Agree 100%. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that these 10 sponsors joined together as one? This isn’t 10 guys who were going to go out and compete against each other. You could compare it to 10 guys who each owned a franchise stake under one corporation that had a monopoly position. It doesn’t make any sense that they would be competing against each other across 88 counties. Unless they were stupid, they would simply divide up the counties and each would run his counties with no competition whatsoever. Business 101.

  19. Hornet, I agree that the monopoly aspect is what blew apart Issue 3 and I also agree that it’s not fair to call opponents of Issue 3 ignorant and “jerks”. It’s the responsibility of voters to inform themselves and vote down corrupt initiatives. Nothing wrong with that. However, you misinterpreted Issue 2, which does not prevent future initiatives.

  20. saynotohypocrisy on

    That’s not correct, it would also have ended for those who grow their own, or have kind relatives, friends or neighbors who can grow for them.

    And how long do you think RO’s oligopoly would have lasted? It’s so widely unpopular, it probably would have lasted only a couple of years, and they would deserve that for doing what no one else in Ohio seems close to having the power to do.

  21. Quote from the story: “Anyone who opposed Issue 3, yet doesn’t do everything that they can to help get legalization on the ballot again in a better form, is a jerk in my book”. That’s pretty bizarre and mean … to be calling voters “jerks” for voting down a flawed initiative that was based solely on Raw Greed and Corruption. The sponsors of Issue 3 didn’t give a rat’s ass about the public … it was a Money Grab on a grand scale. They wanted the voters to hold their nose and hand them a monopoly on a Silver Platter, so they could become rich beyond their wildest dreams. The voters are not that stupid … and they are not “jerks”.

  22. I’ve seen love ones suffer & still suffering do to health problems & watch love ones pass away from pills!? We should of just had medical on Issue 3… To me that’s the most important reason is to save lifes! So many family’s were praying to come back home to Ohio do to have to relocate for medical marijuana for their young children with seizures & other medical problems for people! The hole thing is just so sad!

  23. You may be correct that over time, only a handful of growers will dominate the market. If they have the business savvy & efficiency & quality products to gain market share in a free market system, then more power to them … that’s the American way (to work hard and EARN it). The problem with Issue 3 is that the sponsors didn’t want to compete and EARN their way into a domination market position … they were rolling the dice and hoping that the voters would be so desperate for MJ legalization that the voters would just hold their nose and hand over the entire market to the sponsors on a Silver Platter. No so fast, bitches! The voters are not that stupid.
    The next initiative will not have a ridiculous Silver Platter Cartel non-compete provision and the voters will pass it.

  24. The Issue 3 sponsors didn’t give a rat’s ass about “freedom of consumers” … it was a Money Grab on a grand scale. The voters found that to be disgusting, which is why that flawed initiative got its ass kicked so badly. If they remove that ridiculous provision about the monopoly, the issue would’ve passed.

  25. You are 100% correct. I was at a BBQ party watching the Ohio St Buckeyes football game a few weeks ago where about a dozen successful professionals were sitting around getting high and talking about Issue 3. The consensus opinion was “hey, the whole culture of MJ from back in the 60s & 70s was based upon the foundation of happiness and openness and fairness … but Issue 3 is in stark contrast to those principles … it was deliberately crafted in a corrupt fashion of raw greed, to inject their monopoly powers into the Ohio Constitution so that they could become rich beyond their wildest dreams, while shutting out all other growers from entering the market”. All 12 people at that party definitely want MJ to be legalized but all 12 were going to vote No on Issue 3 because it was such a cold, dark attempt by 10 people to grab all the money for themselves.
    The Issue 3 sponsors didn’t give a rat’s ass about “freedom of consumers” … it was a Money Grab on a grand scale. We found that to be disgusting and so did most other Ohioans, which is why that flawed initiative got its ass kicked so badly. If they remove that ridiculous provision about the monopoly, the issue would’ve passed.

  26. It’s very clear that you are correct. The language specifically states that it applies to “any constitutional amendment appearing on the Nov 3 election ballot”. I don’t understand why BrownHornet is trying to twist those words into “it applies FOREVER”. I’ve heard others over-exaggerate by shouting “the corrupt politicians have taken power away from the people forever!”. These “NEVER/EVER” alarmists are noisy but rarely on point.

  27. Are you sure creating a monopoly would have prevented that injustice? Congress voted to call off the dogs in States where it is legal. Obama is still attacking despite the new law.

    Legalization in a corrupt environment is not the end of the fight.

  28. The War would only end for those who consumed the product RO offered. Suppose they didn’t offer the strain I need? I go to jail if caught violating their monopoly.

    That may be OK for you. It stuck in my craw.

  29. The evolution of Issue 3 is not very material now. The big question is why did the major reform orgs sit on their hands when they should have been fighting for Ohio marijuana consumers by doing everything they could to help pass Issue 3?

    Who gets rich from any legalization plan is way down the list of priorities from consumer freedom.

  30. saynotohypocrisy on

    I don’t think you get my point. When people whose guiding principle is freedom make a glaring exception for cannabis, the onus is on them to explain why cannabis users don’t deserve freedom. But they’re not explaining anything, the groups are studiously ignoring the issue, while they go on drinking their booze, in a despicable display of world class hypocrisy.

  31. Sounds good. Where do I sign? Let’s get this thing back on the ballot and not stop until its done!

  32. No reason to be insulting, Acid. I agree that the restriction against new competition is problematic. My point was that even with no more competition at present, 10 is a lot. With the companies I mention, you may only have a few competitors. And once legalization is widespread throughout the nation, the RO scheme would probably collapse. It’s possible that only a few of the 10 would survive.

  33. But you forget that none those companies prevent new companies from entering the market and competing with them. Which is exactly what RO’s proposal would have prevented had it passed. It would have prevented new companies from using land outside of those 10 sites to start their own growing enterprise. I swear sometimes I wish people would take a simple Business 101 course.

  34. The Cannabis Control Initiative is already collecting signatures for 2016. A good solid initiative with no special interests carving up the industry. LegalizeOhio2016 dot org.

  35. Wrong. I have read it many times. The Schedule 1 narcotic line ONLY applied to the Nov 3, 2015 election.

    (3) If, at the general election held on November 3, 2015, the electors
    approve a proposed constitutional amendment that conflicts with division
    (B)(1) of this section with regard to the creation of a monopoly, oligopoly,
    or cartel for the sale, distribution, or other use of any federal Schedule I
    controlled substance, then notwithstanding any severability provision to the
    contrary, that entire proposed constitutional amendment shall not take effect.

  36. I truly dont care. Im near Philadelphia anyway so I need nj or Delaware or new york to legalize and ill spend my money there. In the meantime, no alcohol drinking, im offended by drunks.

  37. saynotohypocrisy on

    People who call themselves the Freedom Caucus have a responsibility to explain why cannabis users don’t deserve any. They’ll be called hypocrites until they stop acting as hypocrites. Neutrality on the subject supports the prohibitionist status quo.
    It’s their refusal to honestly and opening discuss the subject, together with their going on and on about freedom that makes me see red.

  38. saynotohypocrisy on

    The Tea Party Congress critters call themselves the Freedom Caucus, so they have a particular obligation to explain why medicinal and other cannabis users don’t deserve the freedom that alcohol users have, and that they claim they are devoted to. And they’re not doing any of that, they are studiously avoiding the issue. It makes them look wildly hypocritical. The only thing they’re taken a stand on is state’s rights.

  39. I just don’t have a problem with 10 distinct, individual entities competing for market share. Wouldn’t collusion for price fixing be illegal anyway? Am I missing something? Sure, it is initially open only to RO investors, but I believe that to have been an expedient to fund the ballot initiative in a state with a hostile legislature. Still, 10 seems like a good start for competition’s sake. After all, how many wireless companies compete for your business? Cable companies? Auto manufacturers?

  40. saynotohypocrisy on

    Thanks for the clarification. My sympathies on living in the notoriously corrupt state of Illinois.

  41. My rep, Sam Farr, and a few others, have been on board for many years. Others are now joining them, thank Gaia.

  42. The reform orgs certainly weren’t sounding any alarm. They were all too busy dividing up the pie to get involved with something as mundane as that.

  43. TheBrownHornet on

    If we let our D.C. reps know that enough is enough, this could be done by Spring 2016, seriously.

  44. TheBrownHornet on

    Rescheduling is legalization or rescheduling opens the door to legalization if states so choose.

  45. saynotohypocrisy on

    Not federally legalized, just rescheduled. Cannabis’ schedule 1 status is preposterous, like saying the sun isn’t shining on a sunny day. I expect it to change by 2017 unless the Republicans win the White House. The courts will fix it soon if the pols don’t. The courts are evolving on cannabis, just as they did on gay marriage

  46. Bernie Sanders wants to take marijuana totally off the Schedule. Hopefully, even if he doesn’t win, that idea will prevail.

    Then, none of this will matter.

  47. TheBrownHornet on

    I don’t need a lawyer. If someone wants to create a monopoly but separate from Schedule 1 drugs, that’s ok? If someone wants to sell Schedule 1 drugs but doesn’t create a monopoly, that’s ok? What portion of Issue 2 expires and which doesn’t?

  48. TheBrownHornet on

    I’m not arguing. But these are lawyers that drafted these amendments. They are taught to think in the long term when drafting these things. And always in their favor. Why is the term “Schedule 1” now in our constitution? Why not “federally banned substances” or some similar term? It will boomerang right back. “If we don’t want monopolies manufacturing and selling federally banned Schedule 1 drugs in Ohio, then why should ANYONE be manufacturing and selling federally banned Schedule 1 drugs in Ohio” – State Legislature. the not too distant future.

  49. This is correct. Issue 2 does NOT ban any future cannabis referendums, full legalization, medical, or otherwise. And if it doesn’t create a monopoly/limited market, the 2nd question on the ballot won’t even be required.

    I would not have voted for Issue 2, but it does not ban future cannabis referendums.

  50. Yes, that language specifying the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot is now part of the state constitution. That provision of Issue 2 only applies to the election yesterday. Period. You’re gonna want to consult a lawyer, because I have found absolutely no analysis anywhere that agrees with your opinion that Ohio can never again vote on a cannabis referendum.

  51. And, apparently, the corrupt legislature and election officials would have the power to pervert the language of those two initiatives, causing the same scenario we had yesterday.

  52. Most people I talked said that is only for this election. It doesn’t stop the sig gathering and it can’t keep it off the ballot. What the board can do if they feel that monopoly or cartel is being created is put the issue in two questions one that is about legalization and the other about creating a monopoly. Both would have to pass for it to become law.

  53. There was more than one of the site owners that had already started subdividing and arranging leases and sales to other growers. Perhaps one of the other site owners would have been able to overpower them, perhaps not. – Now we’ll never know.

    The biggest point is that struggle would have been – wait for it — competition.

  54. TheBrownHornet on

    The plan most RO investors had was to import growers from Colorado (one grower was interviewed by a Cincy news outlet), Cali, & Oregon, etc. and have them actually run the ops. From building construction and design to actual cultivation. The only real opportunity for Ohioans would have been in retail. The slow trickling of such info from RO was also the root of their downfall. RO just came across as both crass and untrustworthy.

  55. Right. Running from “protestors” who were only concerned about getting a piece of the pie – not about ending the war on marijuana consumers.

  56. The investors of R.O. were not marijuana reformers. That’s why they made mistakes. – It was OUR job to do the education and we totally dropped the ball.

  57. TheBrownHornet on

    RO spent too much time running from protesters. They all but refused to be upfront about so many things; too many things. They would never do a town hall. Too much advanced notice needed. “Buddie” stops were never really pre-announced either. RO squandered so many opportunities its maddening.

  58. So what? Geography does not create a monopoly. – As I’ve already pointed out, there would have been hundreds of competing growers.

  59. Ohioans blew nothing. They voted their conscience no matter how many temper tantrums you wish to throw.

  60. Exposing the fraud of Issue 2 and the crime of inserting “monopoly” into the language of Issue 3 would likely have caused a win, or at least, a VERY close loss, like happened with Prop 19 in California. – The polls showing majority support for reform indicate that.

    I don’t know why R.O. chose not to focus on that. They should have.

  61. TheBrownHornet on

    _____________________________. This is me saying nothing because you are absolutely right.

  62. Again, we keep coming back to RO’s failed campaign. It was beaten by 850K votes. Don’t you find it a bit arrogant that RO did not bother to educate the uninformed? Where were the town halls in each city informing voters? Why not schedule some debates? What did we get? A moron dressed in a mascot suit. That is not how you run a successful campaign.

    IMO, RO just assumed they only had to do some ad buys and since legalization happened in other states, all they had to do was put it on the ballot and wait for the voters to grant them constitutionally protected rights and the riches would come rolling in. RO was arrogant and it cost the movement big time.

    I said it last week. RO was hell bent that either they would get rich or no one would. They knew they fucked us and they counted on the voters to take what was offered or we would be without moving forward for a very long time. It’s how they wanted it.

  63. TheBrownHornet on

    Lot’s of people should have and probably did. Drowning in a sea of voices. NORML, MMP, ABC, NBC,.. I lose track. Get together and deliver a consistent message. Now we are screwed.

  64. Okay. Well, nothing about Issue 2 was legitimate. In the future, any class about government corruption will pay homage to the essential form of it – Issue 2.

    Reform should have sounded the alarm over it. They didn’t.

  65. But if marijuana reform had educated the people about the deception, it would have lost its power.

  66. But all retail product would have had to come from those ten grow sites. This locks out competition.

  67. Interesting. That seems like an error, but it must not have been a fatal one, or the Ohio legislature would have built their attack around it. – It would be best to ask Responsible Ohio where that fit into the initiative.

  68. TheBrownHornet on

    It didn’t read that way, but I’m no lawyer. But the language is there and therefor valid.

  69. It doesn’t matter who the target was, it was RO’s responsibility to reach them and educate them. Of the 2 million that voted against it, how many of them are consumers of marijuana that voted against it because of the implied monopoly?

    Perhaps we are overlooking the bigger picture that Ohioans just did not want it legalized. If the vote totals were closer, one could argue that the monopoly issue swayed the outcome. But Issue 3 was defeated by more than 850K votes. No on Issue 2 even got more votes than Yes on Issue 3. I am not so sure anything could have pushed legalization over the top yesterday.

  70. All Iknow is ohio blew it. I hope ohioans never get legalized marijuana. Let them get arrested for possession. Screw ’em. Let the economy go to hell there too. And, oh yea, the browns suck and the bungles will lose in round one of the playoffs as they always do.

  71. As the corrupt Ohio legislature has shown, ANYTHING can happen in the future. The present was the main event.

  72. TheBrownHornet on

    Exactly. As soon as I read Issue 2, I knew the movement was done. They presented Issue 2 as the solution to Issue 3 and people bought it.

  73. I don’t have to define a monopoly as one producer. The dictionary does that for me.

    Once again, it would have been far more than ten people growing. They just own the sites where the hundreds of growers would have leased or bought sections of those sites.

    State control of all liquor sales is enough absolute control to make the comparison. It might be a better comparison if they produced also, but then, since Issue 3 would not have controlled retail sales, that makes it a wash.

    Sure, there could have been a better legalization – as there could have been a better legalization in every state that won. – But this was the only option on the table, and it was clearly a vast improvement over the war on marijuana consumers that now, will continue on into the indefinite future.

  74. Do you somehow imagine the R.O. investors could resist the power of the national marijuana market? – That’s simply tunnel vision.

    The only group who is able to forge ahead of the national alcohol market are the state-run liquor stores.

    Ohio consumers DID vote for Issue 3. In my discussion at Ohio forums it was clear all consumers wanted it. – It was only the loud prohibitionists and greedy, black-market growers who were against it.

    If all the citizens of Ohio were consumers, Issue 3 would have won. But consumers are a small minority. – It was the low-information, non-consuming voter that was the target.

    The reform organizations could have educated them, but they chose not to. THAT’S what lost the election.

  75. I did read it, and tried to copy and paste that language here, but it keeps going into Hold status waiting for a moderator to approve it. As I read it, it ONLY applies to the election yesterday, not all future elections, and it ONLY forbids the creation of a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel of a Schedule 1 substance. I think a medical cannabis referendum is entirely possible in the future as long as it doesn’t create a monopoly, etc.

  76. And had RO not tried to propose a closed market of cultivation for themselves, Issue 2 likely never gets drafted or at worst, defeated on election day.

  77. Johnny actually covered this a couple years ago on here. Business types only care about the bottom line. They care about freedom– freedom to buy their product so they can profit. Other than that, they cared so much about “freedom” that their initial proposal did not even include home grow and did not include it until they received tons of activist backlash.

  78. “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 other use of any federal Schedule I controlled substance.”

    Are you sure?

  79. Technically it was an oligopoly but the problem is RO locked out competition. And there is nothing stating it was temporary other than they themselves saying they could expand in the future if needed. But you can’t say consumers would have been thrilled to have the state doing it all when they had a chance to legalize yesterday when they voted it down 2 to 1. Not one single county was won. NOT ONE.

  80. TheBrownHornet on

    Please read the portion of Issue 2 that mentions Schedule 1 narcotics. A small portion, but that changes everything.

  81. If you define monopoly as ONE producer, I’ll grant you that. A cartel or oligopoly over the market is more accurate, sure. But as we generally think of monopolies, that referendum created one with 10 whole entities allowed the control the market.

    It was unnecessary for them to try to limit the cannabis market in Ohio and it backfired and failed miserably. State run liquor stores are a different beast than if the state also controlled the production of all liquor in the state. That’s not an apt comparison.

    Maybe consumers wouldn’t care, you might be right. Apparently they didn’t care enough to go out and vote yesterday in Ohio, which is a shame.

  82. I don’t get your argument. On one hand, you say reform is about freedom and reform organizations lost sight of that. But then you counter it with people not caring about rich people. Obviously people do care about because they were not wiling to sell out at all costs for freedom.

    RO dangled the freedom carrot in front of voters with the hopes voters would grant them the market protected by the state constitution and state authorities. I could only imagine the Liberal outcry were we to change RO to the Koch brothers.

    The unnecessary suffering and deaths fall squarely on the shoulders of RO, NOT the voters. Had RO put forth a better proposal that mirrored Oregon, Alaska, or Colorado, maybe the votes would have been different. Hell, maybe even a proposal like D.C, has now would have gotten the votes. But RO wanted NONE of those because there was no way to corner the profits and control pricing and supply for themselves.

    Organic legalization is what is needed. Organic legalization is changing the minds of a brainwashed public to vote to legalize because it is the right thing to do. Not because of tax revenue, job creations, profits, etc…. This is what true reform has always been about. The voters were unwilling to legalize at all costs and smartly so.

  83. It can’t be done for a long time is correct. Issue 2 didn’t have much to do with federal guidelines, though. It was pure corruption, lies and theft of the initiative process from the people.

  84. TheBrownHornet on

    Ohio can’t be won now. Issue 2 automatically defaults to the federal guideline. And WE can’t really do anything. WE must MAKE our D.C. reps vote the change in.

  85. No. We tried attacking federally in the 90s. They have the great fraud of prohibition to heavily fortified at that level. That’s why we switched to the state level, and that’s why we are now winning.

    Winning the states is HOW we win federally.

  86. “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 other use of any federal Schedule I controlled substance.”

    I read it differently. To me, it ONLY applied to the election yesterday. And it ONLY forbids creating a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for a Schedule 1 substance. I do not believe at all that is says “no Schedule 1 drug can EVER be legalized in Ohio now”.

    They should try for a medical cannabis referendum ASAP in Ohio that does not create monopoly for medical cannabis. I think they will be fine with that and it will pass.

  87. I’ll explain it to you. Greedy people have taken over reform. So now it’s a battle over the market. Consumers’ freedom is now the last thing on the agenda.

  88. TheBrownHornet on

    Hi jontomas,

    I was one of the individuals you had many exchanges with concerning Issue 3.

    Not to say “I told you so”, but the structure of Issue 3, creating the monopoly, is what got it defeated. Plain & simple.

    I don’t think it’s fair to call opponents of Issue 3 ignorant; ignorance is the lack of knowledge.

    The citizens of Ohio obviously had the knowledge to reject bad legislation.

    I was trying to convince people to wait until 2016, but the passing of Issue 2 has killed any future legalization efforts in Ohio.

    If you have read Issue 2, you know what I mean by killed.

    The Hornet

  89. lol – There was no monopoly. After the great charade is over, you can at least admit that.

    Ten different, huge grow sites subdividing through leases and sales to hundreds of other growers.

    Plus, it would have just been temporary, until the national marijuana market took over and swept all local arrangements away.

    Consumers would have been thrilled to have legalization even if the state did all the growing and selling, similar to the way some states have state-run liquor stores.

    Issue 3 would have provided MUCH more economic opportunity than that.

  90. Its hard to understand why there is an issue with cannabis. I have a feeling NC will be one of the last states to allow cannabis use.

  91. Again, marijuana reform was never about anything but the freedom of consumers. – The perverted reform organizations lost sight of that and sacrificed what used to be our mission to their visions of personal greed.

    Do you think consumers of the future will care the rich people who run the industry are so-and-so who hijacked reform in the teens, or those who would have given them freedom many years earlier? They won’t think of it much, probably. It will just be rich people.

    To them, there will be no difference. They will only have had to wait ten years longer for their freedom with untold, unnecessary suffering and death because of it.

  92. TheBrownHornet on

    The legalization movement is over in Ohio. People should have voted NO on Issues 2 AND 3. We would then be in a position to launch a better initiative in 2016.

    Read Issue 2. It states that no Schedule 1 narcotic can ever be legalized in Ohio. Folks were really tricked by the state legislature on Issue 2.

    Voting NO on Issue 3 didn’t mean you had to vote YES on Issue 2.

    Again, no Schedule 1 drug can EVER be legalized in Ohio now.

    It MUST be FEDERALLY legalized first.

  93. Profit is not bad at all but legalization is not about profit. Freedom wasn’t what RO wanted. Profits were. Had RO come out and funded this legalization effort by including home grows, MMJ, and open competition for licensed cultivation etc…. not held exclusively for their “investors”, people would have been singing their praises.

    They can’t champion the song of freedom while refusing to allow free market competition. The voters were too smart for that and saw through the bullshit.

  94. Right, it wasn’t the profit they were against. They were against the monopoly on that profit and the absence of a relatively free market that allowed free market competition to those profits. HUGE distinction right there between profits and free markets.

  95. You don’t get it. Just like what was argued here on this forum not long ago. Legalization will not happen solely by Democratic party voters. The key to passing legalization has to be a concerted effort by Democrats and Conservative voters together. During that argument, Conservative voters were told to fuck off because they did not need us to pass legalization in Ohio. But don’t be so blind to assume all of your Democratic brethren voted for Issue 3 yesterday because they definitely did not.

    No matter what your beliefs, every single legalization movement (maybe save for California) will need a great chunk of Republican voters in order to pass it. But it will be hard to get their support for the cause when they are constantly attacked and called heartless and stupid.

  96. lol – Still pushing that meme that ‘profit is bad.’ It’s the height of hypocrisy when it was the larger greed of so many who have perverted the mission of reform that caused the defeat. – It wasn’t profit they were against. It was just the “wrong people” making the profit – and consumers be dammed.

    Almost nobody in reform was receptive to the idea that the freedom of consumers was the most important thing.

    Funny. That used to be our mission.

  97. Bernie Sanders is an independent, like a growing number of US voters are. In fact, fewer people consider themselves aligned with the two old parties right now, than at any time since the Civil War when the GOP was brand spanking new. Today’s population is rejecting the failed, two old parties more and more every day in increasing numbers.

    D or R? They both suck, and this nonsense of saying that one or the other is more evil than the other just isn’t flying in the day and age of greater knowledge and information.

  98. Make no mistake about it, I want legalization for Ohio and all states. But if ignorance really is at fault, then it was Ro’s responsibility to better educate the voters. Local and national reforms had no choice. If they came out in support and passed it, it signals to other greedy organizations that this is a surefire way to get legalization and profit from it.

  99. No kidding. My state, Illinois, has been completely controlled by Democrats since 2002. Nothing but the occasional lip service from then.

    If you were to add up ALL the elected Democrats in Illinois that have actually done anything to legalize cannabis, you would find probably 99.9993% of the elected Democrats have done NOTHING to push us towards legalization.

    State Reps and Senators could legalize it at the state level, county boards, county sheriffs and county States’ Attorney could decriminalize it at their county level, city council members could decriminalize it at their level. It is extremely rare when an elected Democrat even lifts a finger to try to change cannabis laws.

  100. Well, Rauner could have just ended the stupid medical cannabis program they passed and refused to implement it. That happened in the 1970s in Illinois, when the legislature passed a medical cannabis bill but all the Governors since then refused to implement it. If he was a reefer mad idiologue, as you claim, Rauner would have put a stop to it, but he hasn’t done that. Not that I support Rauner by any stretch of the imagination, but the truth is he could be a lot worse and has said he supports having a medical cannabis program in Illinois.

    Canada, and almost every other democracy in the world, now shares power among three or more political parties. Its past time we get out of this idiocracy mold of choosing the lesser of evils.

  101. Oh please. It’s funny how when a few Democrats support legalization that it is spun as the party supports legalization. But when some Republicans oppose legalization it is spun as the whole party opposes legalization. There are plenty on both sides that have announced support just like there have been many to oppose it. Hell, even your own Vice President is against it.

  102. Technically, Bernie Sanders has been elected as an independent to federal office the past 24 years and has never registered as a member of the Democrat’s party. He won’t technically be a Democrat until he is listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, and he is still an independent member of Congress.

    Bernie has always and often criticized the Democrats in explaining why he has never been a member of their party. He has said numerous times the only reason he is running in the Democrat’s primary is because of the political bigotry in our election laws that the Democrats and Republicans use to discriminate against political independents and others.

    It really is funny how the Democrats now claim Bernie’s political history as if he was one of them. Look, I hate the GOP as much as anyone, but I don’t turn a blind eye at the imbecile Democrats because of that. We all deserve better than the two old parties.

    Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced legislation in 2011 to end federal prohibition and remove cannabis entirely from the CSA schedules. Bernie didn’t sign on to sponsor it. In 2005 Bernie introduced legislation to move cannabis from schedule 1 to schedule 2. I’m glad he finally got around to the correct position on this issue after 24 years in federal office. Bernie won’t win the Democrat’s nomination, but that legislation may help in the long run, good for him.

  103. No. My Karma is of the few that remain intact and unblemished. I took the high road, along with Russ Belville and a few others.

    It was a dark day for marijuana reform as all the orgs lost sight of the prize. Local and national reform sat on their hands and assured that low-information voters would rule.

    This was the perfect set-up for the corrupt Ohio legislature that shaped the election into two initiatives of 2 – “Monopoly bad” and 3 – “This reform is a monopoly.”

    Marijuana reform let corruption and ignorance win the day.

  104. Sour grapes, my friend. Karma came calling for you. Think of all of those hours you wasted telling those of us who saw through RO’s greedy attempt telling us how wrong we were and how November would be the tipping point for the nation. Dreams of owning retail shops went up in smoke for many RO supporters. Kinda fitting.

  105. Organic legalization is what Ohioans apparently want judging based off of their votes. Legalization should be about freedom to choose to engage or not. It should never be about profit.

  106. 10 years from now when marijuana has been legal nationwide for a few years and the industry is fairly settled, there will likely be five or six major growers that dominate the market. Maybe one or two local growers in Ohio will be able to compete, but I doubt it. Ohio just gave up the advantage of a head start that would have assured that would happen.

    I wonder if anyone will look back at the ignorance of so many who threw away that opportunity yesterday. Probably not. It will be ancient history by then. Ohio will never be a major player in the marijuana industry now.

    Maybe that’s the way it was always meant to be.
    I spent hours every day in the news forums of Ohio, trying to convince everyone it was about the freedom, not the money. I thought I was making some progress, but, apparently not.

    But if Ohio reformers thought the profit motive was bad, they have just assured that will be the ONLY thing that operates marijuana policy, and will end up only being able to make money in limited retail operations.

    It’s ironic they could have had that situation today, PLUS establish a major growing industry, if they had just had the insight to see that ALL good things flow from freeing consumers, even their “perfect” legalization they just sacrificed forever because of their short-sightedness.

  107. stellarvoyager on

    The people of Ohio just voted for this to continue happening to people:

    “Before she gave birth to her daughter, Nova, at
    Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital on September 26, Hollie Sanford used
    cannabis tea to relieve severe sciatic nerve pain. Her research
    convinced her marijuana was a safer choice than the painkillers she had
    been prescribed, and she may be right about that. […]

    But Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate Eleanore Hilow, who
    ordered Nova’s separation from her parents because the baby and her
    mother tested positive for a marijuana metabolite at the hospital, does
    not seem interested in what science shows about cannabis and pregnancy.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Hilow rejected the
    recommendation of county social workers, who are usually the bad guys in
    cases like this. […]

    “There is no need to remove this child from her parents in order to
    protect her,” an assistant county prosecutor wrote in an October 23
    motion. “At this time, removal would only serve to disrupt the bond the
    child would develop with her parents during this important period in her
    life…Rather than protecting the child, removal may be more harmful to
    her both in the present and in the future.”

    Hilow was unmoved by that argument.”

    From Reason magazine. Ohio legalization is dead for at least another decade. Ohio should be written off by the movement. Do not waste another penny on that cruel, backwards state.

  108. stellarvoyager on

    The purists are on their own in Ohio now. They helped derail legalization there, and decided not to put pressure on the feds to end schedule 1. Instead, they decided to embolden the prohibs and continue doing stuff like this to people:

    “Before she gave birth to her daughter, Nova, at
    Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital on September 26, Hollie Sanford used
    cannabis tea to relieve severe sciatic nerve pain. Her research
    convinced her marijuana was a safer choice than the painkillers she had
    been prescribed, and she may be right about that. […]

    But Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate Eleanore Hilow, who
    ordered Nova’s separation from her parents because the baby and her
    mother tested positive for a marijuana metabolite at the hospital, does
    not seem interested in what science shows about cannabis and pregnancy.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Hilow rejected the
    recommendation of county social workers, who are usually the bad guys in
    cases like this. […]

    “There is no need to remove this child from her parents in order to
    protect her,” an assistant county prosecutor wrote in an October 23
    motion. “At this time, removal would only serve to disrupt the bond the
    child would develop with her parents during this important period in her
    life…Rather than protecting the child, removal may be more harmful to
    her both in the present and in the future.”

    Hilow was unmoved by that argument.”

    From Reason dot com.

  109. The same Ben Carson who says weed lowers your IQ? Yeah, he’s a great one to get behind.

  110. stellarvoyager on

    Carson calls marijuana a gateway drug, and said that he would intensify the war on drugs. Carson’s position is far worse than Sanders’. Carson is hostile to the cannabis community, and thinks cannabis use is hedonism. “We have to stop lowering the barriers to hedonism”, he said in response to a question about whether he supported legalization.

    Trump and Rand have the most reasonable positions of all the GOP candidates, and neither of them have called for descheduling cannabis. Rand only wants to move it to schedule 2 with meth. The furthest they said they would go is to not enforce federal law in states that have legalized, a continuation of the Obama administration’s policy. The only candidate who has called for a complete repeal of federal prohibition is Bernie. As a result of his announcement, look for Vermont to be the next legal state, via its democrat-controlled legislature and democratic governor.

  111. stellarvoyager on

    There are some really lousy, corrupt democrats out there, to be sure. But look at Illinois’ republican governor — a reefer mad ideologue. At the federal level, as disappointing as Obama has been, if Romney had won in 2012 we would not even be having this conversation. Colorado and Washington would have been shut down, and the kind of progress we are seeing in Canada and Mexico towards legalization would be doomed due to threats and bullying from a Romney admin. Remember when G. W. Bush would threaten other countries, like Canada, with retaliation if they took any steps to liberalize their cannabis laws? Canada was ready to legalize in 2002, but Bush put his jackboot on their throats.

  112. First Carson said he’d legalize medical use, Cruz & Trump both have stated it in interviews

  113. stellarvoyager on

    Bernie Sanders supports cannabis legalization and will sponsor a bill to deschedule cannabis at the federal level next week. So there, I’ve let you know. No candidate from either party has gone that far. Now let me know when the reactionary republicans come on board. Most of what I hear coming out of the GOP is reefer madness, with a very few exceptions.

  114. stellarvoyager on

    One of the extremely rare instances when the Republican candidate actually has the better stance on cannabis. I remember when Rand Paul defeated that same prohib dem when they were running for that senate seat in 2010. I’m a proud liberal democrat, and I’m happy that Rand won that seat.

  115. stellarvoyager on

    Ben Carson thinks weed is the gateway drug, has said that he would “intensify” the drug war, and thinks that cannabis use is hedonism. His idea of medical marijuana is extremely restrictive, pharmaceuticalized cannabis only authorized for extremely sick people with a very narrow set of conditions. Ben Carson is no ally of this movement, and would set progress back decades.

  116. stellarvoyager on

    Not one republican candidate has stated that they would legalize it. Which ones did you have in mind? The only candidate who said that they would legalize it is Bernie Sanders.

  117. It takes a lot of money to get anything on the ballot, especially if it’s not popular with the present ruling party. Love or hate or just tolerate RO, it had to profit-based to attract big money to support it. Most of my friends said, “I support legalization, but monopoly BAD. Somebody might get rich!”, right before voting no. End result of the 2-to-1 stomping of RO? No one will risk a penny on Ohio legalization initiatives for the foreseeable future. No money? No ballot. Unless state republicans have a change of heart. Don’t hold your breath. Prohibition still in full effect.

  118. I don’t know of any tea party groups that have addressed the cannabis issue specifically, but there are tea party groups that have endorsed, contributed to, and worked to get candidates elected that do support medicinal cannabis.

    Rand Paul and the new Governor of Kentucky Bivin are two. Ron Paul back in his day. US House member Justin Amash in Michigan. Texas State Rep. David Simpson wants full legalization in Texas. And a bunch of GOP Congress critters sided with the Dems to try to get Obama’s admin to stop going after medical cannabis is states that have it, as M. Simon said previously. Not a lot, but its a start and they are needed.

  119. saynotohypocrisy on

    It’s as much or more being anti-federal government as it is being anti-medicinal marijuana prohibition.

    Have any Tea Party groups come out in support of medicinal marijuana? Maybe some have and I just haven’t heard about it.

  120. I did support it but it’s awful language was huge turn off to a lot of people. Lets face it wasn’t written out all that well. Oregon waited till they got a better deal. Ohio may not even be ready yet. They most likely need to start off with medical first.

  121. Medical will get cannabis off schedule 1. That will help recreational. You have to consider that these are Republicans. Big step for them.

  122. I will certainly grant you that there is a huge difference between people that vote for Democrats and the Democrat’s party establishment and most of their politicians. You are right that those voters are more likely to support legalization than Republican voters.

    I was mostly referring to the elected Democrats who are absolutely hypocritical and let down the people that vote for them all the time. I was not clear on that, but I do see the D Party and their apparatus much differently than the people that vote for them. I’m from Illinois, the Democrat politicians here are another breed than most elsewhere.

  123. saynotohypocrisy on

    I feel sorry for them too. I was hoping compassion for them would override distaste for the self-serving aspect of Issue 3, but most Ohioans who support medicinal marijuana couldn’t bring themselves to vote for this, either they didn’t like the oligopoly, they oppose any rec legalization, or they were just too lazy to vote.

  124. saynotohypocrisy on

    That’s not what my crystal ball says. I’m not optimistic about OTEP, but maybe they’ll surprise me.

    And RO has already committed to be back next year with a revised proposal, cleveland.com is reporting.

  125. saynotohypocrisy on

    Could the parties be reversing on this?
    Just because a Kentucky DINO is being a pig about it?

    Democrat voters overwhelmingly support rec use of cannabis, Republicans voters are solidly against, there’s no getting away from that bottom line.

  126. saynotohypocrisy on

    The Tea Party isn’t my ally! They’re stonewalling their heads off on recreational use. They are total alcohol supremacist bigots. I haven’t heard a single real thing from a single Tea Party on the subject of recreational cannabis. If you have, enlighten me.

  127. saynotohypocrisy on

    Does the left hate the Teas more than the Teas hate the left? Seems like an an equal opportunity hatefest to me.

    I know the Teas aren’t monolithic, but has ANY Tea Party group supported personal use legalization of weed? Has any Tea Party group had a serious, honest discussion about the dangers of alcohol vs. cannabis? Has any Tea Party group at least done their best to publicly defend alcohol supremacism over cannabis? Or is stonewalling of debate the only thing they’re doing on recreational use?

    Since they claim to be all about freedom, they have an affirmative responsibility to explain why people who use cannabis instead of killer alcohol don’t deserve any. And they’ve failed utterly and miserably in that responsibility, that’s why I call them flaming hypocrites.

  128. saynotohypocrisy on

    OK, I’m letting you know, Democratic voters overwhelming support recreational cannabis, so your attack on Democratic voters doesn’t stand up to scrutiny (Republican voters are still solidly against). How about withdrawing it? The Democratic politicians are another matter, a lot of them are hypocrite scum, and I’m not interested in defending them, on this issue, or in general.

  129. Two older voters in downtown Cincinnati who said they support legalization of marijuana both said they voted against Issue 3 because they didn’t like the “monopoly” element creating exclusive growing sites.

    “I can’t believe I voted ‘no’ when it was finally on the ballot,” said Marty Dvorchak, 62, of the northern Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield. “I think it’s ridiculous that marijuana is illegal. The war on drugs has been a failure. But I don’t think 10 people (growers) should have a monopoly.”


  130. All issue 3 would give you is a different form of betrayal.

    Buy cartel weed or go to jail.

    The cartel doesn’t have a strain you need (or like?) – go to jail.

  131. The closest you can come to a TEA philosophy is libertarian. Smaller government. And the TEAs in Congress have been relatively monolithic in their anti-Prohibition. I believe 49 TEAs (about all there are in Congress) voted with Dems to prevent Federal enforcement in mj legal States.

  132. The TEA party does not seem like some monolithic group who all think the same way. Its a bunch of loose groups that have different views depending where you are at. They aren’t like a typical political party with a platform that says Cannabis Prohibition Is King, although I have no doubt that a big majority of people who consider themselves aligned with the TEA party do opposed legalization.

    From what I’ve seen, cannabis isn’t a big issue for most of the tea party groups at all. They are more concerned about taxes and spending than anything else. A lot of policy positions are attributed to them by liberals/Democrats mainly for the sake of propaganda and fear mongering to make the Dem candidates look better.

    In any event, the Republican and Democrat party establishments are a much greater obstacle and enemy to cannabis legalization than the tea party will ever be. Idiocracy politics is the only reason the tea party and the Kochs get so much hatred from the leftists in this country, because that hatred isn’t based in reality at all.

  133. When the Democrats support cannabis legalization (not just medicinal) let me know. These folks go on and on and on about civil rights, but when it comes to civil rights for cannabis users they’ve been a grotesque pack of flaming hypocrites. I don’t see anything funny about it at all. Biggest pack of hypocrites in the country, the only civil rights they care about is protecting their Democrat Party power base.

    :) ftfy

  134. saynotohypocrisy on

    I tend to agree that Ohio should focus on medicinal for next year. Even though there is still a majority in Ohio that favors recreational cannabis legalization, the problems in translating that into a ballot initiative that can win seem too daunting for next year.

    A full plate for next year would be personal use legalization in the 5 states the national groups have targeted, AND Michigan, and medicinal use initiatives in Missouri and Ohio.

  135. The TEAs like to win. Medical is a slam dunk. Go for the win – medical. Legalization will follow.

    And if you hate TEAs explain why the Calif. legislature has not legalized.

    The TEAs in Congress voted with the Dems to end Federal Prohibition in mj legal states. Where were the Dems when they were passing Obamacare? Totally absent. Only when the TEAs forced the issue did the Dems come around – to stick it to the rest of the Republicans. Politics.

  136. The Democrats candidate for Governor in Kentucky is opposed to medical cannabis, and he lost to the Republican candidate that is in favor of medical cannabis. Hmmm.

  137. saynotohypocrisy on

    When the Tea Parties support cannabis legalization (not just medicinal) let me know. These folks go on and on and on about freedom, but when it comes to freedom for cannabis users they’ve been a grotesque pack of flaming hypocrites. I don’t see anything funny about it at all. Biggest pack of hypocrites in the country, the only freedom they care about is their own.

  138. Only cartel weed would have been legal in Ohio. That is not attractive. The language of every bit (homegrown esp.) was in support of the cartel. That is a very hard sell.

  139. And what is funny is that I have seen lots of screaming about the TEAs on this board. And lots of anti-Koch. Kochs are not legalisers. But they rabidly support Reason Magazine – which is.

  140. Obama could end Federal Prohibition – if he wanted to. And that would be legal. He does nothing. Or worse. Talks about leaving people alone and ramps up enforcement. What is with that?

  141. Yep and Kentucky will have MMJ before Ohio will. Imagine how many feathers that will ruffle in Ohio.

  142. But I thought not long ago on here that the likes of familyguy and others kept saying that Conservatives were a dying bunch and that they didn’t need their support on Issue 3 because of the momentum of the legalization movement. They proclaimed that November would deliver a victory because there were more of them than there were Conservatives. When Conservatives came out in support of legalization, it did not stop them from criticizing and chastising them.

    Guess the legalization movement needed those Conservatives more than they thought?

    Legalization WILL NOT be won by a single political party nor should it since it affects everyone. RO offered up a shit sandwich for a proposal and Ohioans were not taking a bite. Had their proposal been similar to Colorado or Oregon’s– Hell even Washington D.C.– I suspect this would have passed. But what do I know? I’m just a dumb Conservative but a dumb one who called this months ago.

  143. Conservatives still do truly run the country. Sad. Expect a republican in 2016 and a crackdown on medical marijuana states. In the meantime, ohio just ruined it for Pennsylvania. Great job.

  144. Closet Warrior on

    Hang tough ChiefMG, at least you guys will probably vote it in next year. I hear you guys already had a contingency plan in that your NORML representatives and many reformers backing you guys didn’t like the conflicting issues and was prepared for this moment. Unlike my state, we have voted down mmj 5yrs in a row, we easily have the highest heroin OD rate in the nation and a really bad prescription drug problems. Cancer is rampant here too, we need mmj and recreational w/grower rights to help ease pain, treat in recovery and help stressed out parents and over worked/underpayed workers. Good luck next yr guys.

  145. Nice to see that they put *new in the language of Issue 2 since we have several big business here already that is a monopoly in this state.

  146. stellarvoyager on

    Michigan is where it’s at in the midwest. The joint blog just had a post that showed 2 more cities in Michigan ended prohibition today, and the legalization measure is well on its way to gathering enough signatures for 2016.

    After this shit show, it is clear that Ohio has a toxic political environment for marijuana law reform. A 48-52 loss could be chalked up to the details of issue 3 that were controversial, like the 10 grow sites, or 2015 being an off year. But a 35-65 loss cannot be explained away by anything other than Ohio being a staunchly anti-cannabis state. I hope they like their high taxes and black market Mexican brick weed.

  147. I know of three independent growers that voted against it due to it cutting off their income. The 10 growers basically got them, indie growers and users to try to sway people to Vote No

  148. (UN)Responsible Ohio makes me want to throw up. Their shitty language caused it to be unsupportive by even supporter of legalization and have just the state for the near future. I think Ohio needs to start med and wait some years before going all the way rec.

  149. They are also one of the first states that have allowed three different cities to put Sharia Law in place.

  150. I agree I even looked at moving to Colorado as I’m from there but housing is outrageous. Not cost effective. Kentucky & Georgia a lot cheaper which is why I’m all for it there

  151. I refuse to move to Michigan, they should’ve gone for Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, but it’s gonna be a hassle in Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, most are to conservative and have an older population

  152. Last election I voted against Kasich and DeWine for the Pro Marijuana candidates and yet everyone voted the two idiots back in office by a landslide.

  153. As I stated earlier was it an issue of voters not being registered or updating voters info, take 6 months to register/update info. Was it feeling like there vote won’t make a difference, or was it ballot manipulation. When AG DeWine the worst piece of crap for an AG GUARANTEES Issue 3 won’t pass that should of sent red flags up

  154. From my reading of the Issue 2 language, I have a different take on it than you. I’m not in Ohio, so maybe I’m off. I would not have voted for Issue 2, but it doesn’t look like a death knell for medical cannabis to me.

    The language in Issue 2 regarding controlled substances is very specific to the “November 3, 2015 General Election ballot”. Unless that can be interpreted differently, Issue 2 does not forbid future referendums concerning controlled substances from being on the ballot.

    The 5 person board also does not have the power to veto a referendum and keep it off the ballot. The 5 person board can determine that a referendum creates a monopoly, oligarchy, or cartel. If they believe it does so, then another question is put on the ballot in addition to the original. The 2nd question on the ballot would ask voters if it is ok to create a monopoly, oligarchy, or cartel if the 1st question passes. Both questions would then have to pass.

    So my understanding is, if a referendum is put forth for medical cannabis that does not create a monopoly, etc. then the 5 person board can’t do a thing about it. But if a medical cannabis referendum is put forth like this RO language, then the board can put the 2nd question on the ballot to allow a monopoly and both would have to pass.

    In recent years, the medical cannabis laws that have passed were done in state legislatures, not by popular vote. California was by popular vote. Illinois was done by politicians. I think that is the difference the past decade. There will be more popular vote referendums similar to California’s that pass in the next few years I believe. It is when politicians write the laws that we see the heavy regulations and restrictions that we’ve seen the last decade.

  155. I agree, it’s pure laziness. I’m not happy about outcome. I talked it up and reminded people for months. Personally called people and text people to vote yes, but this was a failure by RO just as much as the laziness of the people. You cannot campaign your Issue in select cities and counties and think you’re good.

  156. Believe me I’m as disappointed as anyone else. The laziness of the turn out from people that feel like they couldn’t of made a difference is ridiculous. My guess is a good portion are not even registered and in Ohio you have to register 6 months prior to election

  157. At 10:00pm if you added up the total number votes both Yes and No for Issue 2 and Yes and No votes for Issue 3, there was a difference of 55k votes between both issues. Something is up with the count when both were showing 80% of the votes were in

  158. Closet Warrior on

    I was mostly speaking of the issues and languaging of the bills if you actually read the posts I put out there but those votes still count. I’m a very informed reader and keep up w/our struggle. However, those ballots aren’t going to sign themselves. Vote, Vote, Vote. Don’t feel bad if you did your part, if you didn’t then you have no reason to tell other folks they’re selling ignorant statements when it’s you guys, the Ohioans voters who hold the power and from what I ‘ve been reading is low voter turnout.

  159. Totally agree. You have a lot of older people in Ohio who have been brainwashed by the system to think marijuana is a gateway drug. Hell even Kasich who these idiots keep electing has stated it in the GOP debates he is against it, it’s a gateway drug and he compares it to heroin. All these haters that are blaming ALL Ohioans need to realize there were people that voted Yes and quit hating on the minority because of the majority. When RO only had feet on the ground in select cities and not covering a larger base that was a mistake. Let’s be also fair, Buddie was a mistake as well. I know at least six dozen vets I talked to that all agreed it’d help us out with our chronic pain, PTSD etc and were for it. RO didn’t focus enough on it and it was presented very weak to the public. Biggest push back I got was the 10 growers, they hated that.

  160. stellarvoyager on

    My understanding is that Issue 2 prevented any future measure that legalized a schedule 1 controlled substance, and created a 5-member board that could veto any ballot initiative with a 3 vote majority. So if you get a board with 5 people who hate marijuana, you won’t get a marijuana measure passed. I hope I’m wrong about that.

    Medical cannabis like California has not passed in over a decade. All of the medical cannabis laws we’ve seen recently have either been CBD only, or have been like Illinois and NY, so restrictive that nobody can actually get any medicine. At this point, I think that’s the best that Ohio can hope for — CBD only or very limited, tightly controlled, pharmaceuticalized medical marijuana where you have to practically be on your death bed to qualify, and no home grows.

  161. Might it be that Issue 2 will actually help a medical cannabis Issue pass by making sure the medical cannabis language on the ballot does not create a monopoly for medical cannabis?

    The medical cannabis legislation passed in Illinois by the legislature, created a monopoly for a few political insiders. More than two years ago. Still, not one patient has received any medical cannabis in the state.

    It seems like Issue 2 might prevent a medical cannabis system from being implemented in Ohio that resembles the piece of crap we have in Illinois. I see that as a good thing. If Ohio can pass a medical cannabis referendum more similar to Colorado’s or California’s original medical referendums, I see that as a good thing.

  162. stellarvoyager on

    I hope they can accomplish that, but Issue 2 will make it very difficult. Ohio seriously effed themselves with this pile of dung.

  163. Nah, I wouldn’t give up on Ohio completely. Just next time, go for a medical cannabis referendum instead. Get that passed and let it sink in for a couple/few years, and then take another shot at legalization without the nonsense provisions this referendum had.

    Some states don’t even allow referendums like this on their ballot. Even with this giant failure in Ohio, it will be easier to get legalization passed in Ohio than it will in the states where the legislature is the only hope to get it passed. Ohio should just go for medical cannabis ASAP that isn’t heavy on regulations and restrictions for patients and caregivers.

  164. stellarvoyager on

    The national reform orgs would be foolhardy to throw their money down the drain on Ohio. California is much more fertile ground for reform, but California is very expensive, and it will require an all out effort. Spend the money where it will actually do some good. I’d rather win in California, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts, than throw limited resources at Ohio and lose big again. If getting legalization passed in the midwest is a goal, Michigan, not Ohio, should be the priority, as success is much more likely there. Michigan has had medical for years, and a number of cities in Michigan have already passed their own legalization.

  165. (Wow, the RO haters really came out of the closet for this comment section! I remember a month ago it was like me and M. Simon as the two people on the skeptical side.)

    Anyway, let’s try to be constructive, as JG suggests, and think about the upsides. If bucketloads of cash can’t win support alone, that means that grassroots support is more important than ever. So we, the people who care enough to participate in discussions about the day-to-day minutiae of weed politics, will have an easier time helping to shape what legalization looks like in our state. Just the basics of not getting arrested for possession and use is great, but what good is it if your job can still fire you for testing positive, if you can get a DUI for having any residual THC in your system, or if it’s so expensive that you have to resort to the black market anyway? The language of the law matters.

    The lesson we should probably take from this is that we have to get this sh*t done ourselves. Any RO-type group trying to swoop in from the top is probably going to fail, and will exact a heavy toll for themselves if they do manage to get a law passed. The national groups can help out with money once the groundwork is laid, but the organization and initiative language need to be by and for the people in the state.

  166. stellarvoyager on

    This article is a valiant attempt to put a positive spin on the turd that Ohio has handed the legalization movement in that state, and I appreciate the optimism expressed. However, a realist would say that the national organizations should simply write off Ohio, since they would be throwing their money away by sponsoring any initiatives in the near future. It is important to prioritize resources and focus on states that can actually be won, and also focus on ending federal prohibition. Ohio is a lost cause. It will be many years before they ever see legalization, but that is the clear path that they chose in both voting for issue 2 and against issue 3.

    Residents of Ohio who consume cannabis, especially those who need it medically, would be better served by simply moving to a state where they can obtain it legally.

  167. You are labeling all Ohians like they screwed it up. You do realize that at least a million people voted Yes to Issue 3. Kind of an ignorant statement since its RO that failed

  168. No that’s not the case I can tell you that people 60+ came out in droves to vote, yet the 21-50 crowd was minimal. While I voted there were only two other people in the age range that supported Yes. Ohio is more conservative than people think and when they only campaigned in select counties the message didn’t get out strong enough. Plus they saw it as rich money getting richer instead of a free market system

  169. Closet Warrior on

    You guys should have to move the Rock n Roll hall of fame to a truly rebellious and progressive state like Colorado or Washington. FOR SHAME, Thanks for jumpin the gun straight to the money, now all us reformers get to reap the loss of your naivety, greed and lackadaisical attitude towards voting for your rights. Both middle fingers up, you’re number “2” in my book, that’s shit for you laymen.

  170. When I challenged RO in regards to the weakness of their proposal, the holes in their proposal all I got was a lot of fluff. “For now there’s 10 growers that will produce quality, but others will be allowed to lease space from first 10 growers” great, when, how much to lease, who decides, how many leases? No answers could be given. When I asked about who determines pricing supposedly there would be competition between 10 growers so that prices would be fair, when I asked who make sure there is no collusion between growers, no answer. It was vote now we will work out the details later. When I asked who determines the retail licenses, no answer to who determines. They pushed their campaign through TV media about children with seizures (85-90% of their ads) instead of all benefits. They focused their on the ground campaign where the grow farms would be. RO shot themselves in the foot for all Ohioans. I wanted it to pass but they killed it and caused Issue 2 to become a factor all over greed

  171. Closet Warrior on

    Bad language that came from bad ideas caused this massive failure to happen. Also, poor voter turnout from lack of passion put into the bills. In other words, their issues had issues! Instant karma got the rich man tryin to get richer. A proven business model would be to establish an mmj bill first w/room for change in the future. Not only is it more wise to wade into the waters before jumping in, it shows more compassion for the patient than the average recreationalist. Need before want folks.Not only did your “IRRESPONSIBLE Ohio’s” bills risk your own citizen’s chance at legalization but also lost the pressure it could have generated for traction towards your neighboring states that don’t even have their own mmj program like West Virginia, my home state. You guys could have made history and ushered along the reform process by example being the only state east of the Mississippi to both legalize recreational and mmj at once and yet you dropped the ball!!! Thanks IRRESPONSIBLE OHIO and the unenthusiastic voters responsible for setting back the tri-state area another 5-10 yrs. A Oh way to go Ohio.

  172. Let’s blame the Ohio voters but put our heads in the sands when it comes to RO and their failed attempt to run a campaign that should have been easy enough not to screw up. “Buddy” was the first major sign that they were amateurs who had no idea what they were doing and were only in it for the cash.

  173. So you’d rather go to jail for an American cartel than a Mexican one? Because under RO if you don’t have cartel weed you are a criminal? The whole scheme is a price support for the Black Market. And get rich for the sponsors. With 10 growers there would be no price competition.

    And yeah. I know. Who buys Mexican these days? Still….

  174. This is simply pathetic. Legalization rejected in part by those that claim they are for the cause. I understand the hesitance to the 10 growers, but fuck prohibition, let’s take whatever progress we can get for now. The whole thinking behind this is backasswards. No disrespect to the state of Ohio, but I could care less what they do in 2016 or beyond. They sabotaged themselves, and set the whole movement back. Who in the world would put in the time or effort to try and help these people again?

  175. Nothing changes. The same people that smoked yesterday, will smoke tomorrow. RO brought you years of prohibition. If not for their greed attempt, Issue 2 would have never been put on the ballot. Oh… and they brought you “Buddie” too!

  176. And if you look further, this proposal could not even carry the urban areas where minorities were more likely to be arrested for marijuana.

  177. I think the Ohio vote is going to be a wake up for the anti-Prohibition movement. Carpetbaggers not welcome. Funny enough legalization is a liberty issue these days. Warms my libertarian leaning heart. And like the TEA Party (Liberty Caucus) in Congress I’ll work with Democrats who also see it as a liberty issue.

    Let us not be in such a hurry that we do it wrong.

  178. I always find any issue election result entertaining because there are always two types of voters. Those that call voters who vote against their position idiots and those that vote for their position as brilliant. The voters have spoken and even though it is not the result you want, they are not idiots. Nor did the voters vote to stop you from moving your father to state that can allow him a better quality of life.

  179. mmmm the candy commercials killed it. look at how the gummy bear vitamins is being looked at anymore. the old people wanted their children to take vitamins and now the tree huggers are trying to remove them. now my dad is going to die a painful death thats to the idiots in ohio.

  180. Ohio’s issue 3 failed as it should have. As for Issue 2 passing, Ohioans should be ashamed of themselves. I only wish issue 3 could of resembled what your neighbors north of the boarder are petitioning.

  181. You might like this Rolling Stone article:


    Traditionally in Ohio, legalization has been championed by the
    movement’s activist class, a loose statewide network of protest politics
    with names like Ohio Rights Group (ORG) and Legalize Ohio 2016, with
    most outfits operating in the orbit of the country’s three oldest
    drug-reform organizations: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the Drug
    Policy Alliance (DPA) and the National Organization for Reform of
    Mari-juana Laws (NORML). Many of Ohio’s old-school legalization
    activists describe watching in horror as their cause succumbs to a
    big-business stampede. “We’re for full legalization,” says Bob Fitrakis,
    an Ohio Green Party leader and also an ORG board member. “But this
    isn’t about that. This is about 10 people with a lot of
    money….essentially saying, ‘Hi! We’re going to use our money to create
    a new cartel.'”


  183. RO’s greed is what caused the Ohio legislature to put Issue 2 on the ballot. Now it will pass and legalization for Ohio is damn near impossible because RO wanted the commercial growing market for themselves.

  184. LMFAO. I bet if Issue 3 had won you’d be singing the will of the voters. Sorry, I know you are disappointed but the will of the voters work both ways. RO is not what the voters wanted obviously by a 2 to 1 vote. That is not even close. The smallest number of votes for any legalization initiative ever.

  185. A monopoly is just another form of Prohibition. Don’t buy from the monopoly – go to jail. With the out of giving up your 4th Amdmt Rights by registering to grow 4 plants. Unregistered? Go to jail.

  186. No conclusions can be drawn from this sabotaged campaign except a mountain of betrayal and dirty tricks.

  187. I told you all months ago this thing was not in the bag. But you and others blew it off. I understand campaigns a lot more than most. The only analysis needed is seen in the fact that this campaign could not win the majority or even equality in one single county. NOT ONE!

  188. No they don’t. They don’t say anything yet until analysis is done. – It could just mean Ohio is filled with a lot of mean bigots.

  189. By sitting on their hands. They call themselves marijuana reform organizations. They should have been in Ohio fighting in the trenches and raising all the support they could muster.

  190. Don’t believe it but the results say you are wrong. They you;don’t even manage to win one county. That says more about the failed campaign than anything else.

  191. How are they to blame? They didn’t try to use a crappy mascot tactic as well as they did not write the proposal nor for their own greedy benefit. They also fucked Ohioans moving forward. That is all on RO.

  192. I also am highly suspicious about hacked voting machines. The Ohio political machine has shown itself so corrupt with the evil, deceptive Issue 2, they are capable of anything.

  193. MPP and DPA need to fund the Ohio effort in 2016, since they are largely to blame for this defeat. Forget the parties at the Playboy mansion for a while and get it done, Kampia.

  194. Monopoly doesn’t sell. There may come a time when tax and regulate is a hard sell. Because tax and regulate is just another form of Prohibition.

  195. saynotohypocrisy on

    This election was no referendum on medicinal marijuana, and the results don’t call the overwhelming support for MMJ in Ohio into question, it’s doubtful they call majority support for legal adult personal use into question. There would be no problem at all getting medicinal cannabis approved by voters in Ohio, if the right amendment can be placed on the ballot.The power to do that is still in the hands of Ohio voters, we’ll see if they use it next year.

  196. Joey Cunningham on

    Dam that sucks hopefully something better will come of this. But I am very confident on the fact that Marijuana will be federally descheduled by next year. And really for the NON patients of the weed world We don’t get to enjoy the blessing of a legalization anyways take myself for example my work continues to randomly drug test for weed which is complete garbage. Especially when people are always coming into work still hung over from a night of drinking. My only hangover from weed is bad gas from eating to much junk food. Any who sorry to here this didn’t pass for Ohio keep strong and striving forward for the end is nearing day by day.

  197. Polling is hardly reliable. We saw the same issue in Florida where 82% polled in favor of MMJ only to watch it fail on election day. Any legalization is dead in Ohio for the foreseeable future unfortunately.

  198. saynotohypocrisy on

    90% of Ohio voters tell the pollsters they support medicinal marijuana, but most of them passed up this chance to vote for it. If they don’t do anything to support an alternative to RO, their support is meaningless, they could be opposed for all the difference it makes. Patients are suffering needlessly, the state legislature is controlled by barbarians, it’s up to the voters to act directly through a constitutional amendment.
    Maybe medicinal only is a more realistic goal for 2016 in Ohio, since it seems so hard to get Ohio reformers to unite.

  199. It did worse even than what I predicted (48%). What’s even sadder is No on Issue 2 got more votes than Yes on Issue 3. RO definitely deserves the lion’s share of the blame for this failed campaign.

  200. Well, that sure does bite.I feel sorry for families and persons who need this for pain.More families that need this HERB will now move to States that have it already which sucks big Ballots that they have to pick up and move so their children can be pain-free or the patient can be pain-free.

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