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Tomorrow Is Election Day In Ohio – Will Marijuana Legalization Be Approved By Voters?


ohio signWhen Responsible Ohio first announced its plans to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the 2015 Ohio ballot, it almost instantly drew boos and hisses from the marijuana reform community. The first version of ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana legalization initiative did not include a provision for home cultivation. ResponsibleOhio, to its credit, listened to the feedback and re-wrote the initiative to include a home cultivation provision. I have to assume that the provision was added in the hopes that it would make the for-profit cultivation provisions of the initiative more palatable.

The word monopoly was used a lot when referring to the initiative during its campaign. The Ohio Supreme court even ensured that the word monopoly appeared on voter ballots, despite the campaigns objections. The initiative does not in fact create a monopoly for growing. What it does is create ten cultivation sites across Ohio that will house all of the marijuana cultivation for-profit grow sites for the state. So the initiative essentially creates an oligarchy of cultivation sites, but not a monopoly of cultivation in general.

The part of the campaign that I think infuriated long time activists the most was the use of ‘Buddie’ the marijuana mascot. I still can’t wrap my head around how the campaign thought that was a good idea. Like I said when I first heard about it, marijuana mascots are gimmicks, and campaigns don’t need gimmicks. A marijuana mascot is fine at a Cannabis Cup event, but is not the best way to convince voters. The campaign would have been better served just focusing on the issues in my opinion. Marijuana prohibition is a terrible thing, and using facts to support that claim has been more than enough in other states that have legalized, and I think would have been good enough for Ohio.

On 2015 Ohio Election Eve, many people have already cast their ballots. I have received a flood of e-mails from readers stating how they voted and why, not just on Issue 3 (marijuana legalization), but also how they voted on Issue 2, which could nullify some or all of Issue 3 in the event that both pass. In the event that both pass, there will be a lengthy legal battle, and could prevent implementation of some of the Issue 3 provisions, if not all of them. We will just have to wait and see.

An activist that I admire a lot, Tom Angell, posted on his Facebook page yesterday his prediction of the outcome of the Issue 3 vote, and asked others to post their predictions in the comments of his post. It was a very interesting thread to read, with many long time activists posting their predictions. I didn’t post my prediction, mainly because I didn’t want to have to field Facebook notifications for the next however long, but I personally feel that the initiative is going to pass by a hair, 51-49, and that Issue 2 will also pass by a similar margin, and that the legal battle I mentioned previously will take its course.

Polling has been all over the place with Issue 3, and as Ethan Nadelmann pointed out in an article for CNN, with such low voter turnout expected in this election cycle in Ohio, polls are going to be unreliable. So anyone’s guess is going to be as good as the next person’s as far as if it will win or lose, but I think that either way it ends up, it will be close. I could of course be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time!), but that’s my opinion. I do know that if the initiative fails, there is no excuse for any activist or organization to leave Ohio behind. With everything that has been said, and all the support that was withheld, all in the name of ‘the next initiative,’ that next initiative better come, or I will have lost a lot of faith in the marijuana reform community, especially with national organizations. Barring any recounts, all should be known tomorrow with Ohio, for better or worse depending on what side of the initiative you are on.

What do TWB readers think? Do you think that Issue 3 will pass? Why or why not? Do you think that Issue 2 will pass? Why or why not? And if both pass, what do you think will be the outcome of the inevitable legal challenge?


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Johnny Green


  1. Personally I’m not thrilled about the prospect of an oligarchy but that being said I still voted yes on Issue 3 and no on Issue 2. I was the only voter at the time in my presinct under the age of 70 (no lie) so I’m pretty skeptical it’ll pass. More people need to get out there and vote! What I’m hoping is that enough people turn out to make it close for next year to be legalized minus the monopoly. I don’t believe it’s in the cards this year. It would be nice if I was wrong and then like others said we can amend Issue 3.

  2. saynotohypocrisy on

    A recent poll distinguished among people within the over 65 category, and younger people within the category were considerably more likely to support legal weed than those over 75, a trend that should strengthen in coming years.

  3. saynotohypocrisy on

    Just drive carefully and know your rights. Respectfully refuse any request to be allowed to search your car. Have a story ready about what you were doing in Ohio, just in case. Shame on the cops if they focus on this instead of on real crimes.

    Do it, Ohio!

  4. saynotohypocrisy on

    That’s what the very biased Ohio Secretary of State says. The courts will decide.
    Issue 2 changes the rules in the middle of the game, after Issue 3 was duly authorized to be on the ballot, it certainly tramples on the spirit of no ex post facto laws that is in the US Constitution, but the letter of the law might let them get away with their fascist garbage

  5. I totally agree…Vote NO on Both 2 and 3. Everyday gets closer to reform, don’t take the quick and easy way out ….Fight to do it Right

  6. Do people realize that if ISSUE 3 passes, some VERY FAMOUS people are going to make a whole lot of FAMOUS MONEY in which they can have exclusive bragging rights publicly for doing the first smart thing in conservative history that will boast SO MUCH fame for the legalization/regulation community that everyone-state around them will want to join in

  7. its also called start from your own seeds dumb dumb you don’t have to buy there clones or seeds

  8. Issue 3 states that you can give away anything to anyone over 21 for free. You don’t have to grow weed that came from then.

  9. 4 plants you have to buy from the monopoly. There is no language in the bill that allows you to acquire plants from anywhere else. That means you buy from Issue 3’s cartel

  10. So the ballot has Issue 3, creating legalized pot, and Issue 2, which nullifies Issue 3 if it passes? Is that right? WTF???

  11. Wrong on both accounts. I love how someone who doesn’t blindly accept whatever is offered is deemed a prohibitionist or black market. Fuck, you might as well throw in homophobe and racist in there because shit like that cannot be proved or disproved and all it does is shut down debate. But when you don’t have logic and analytical reasoning on your side, throw out names and insults.

  12. Really? No way any organization throws their money behind legalization in Ohio moving forward. Issue 2 will make it damn near impossible.

  13. I’m sorry that I said way back on another article that I thought you were speaking for the RO campaign. Whatever happens, I think we both just want the citizens of Ohio (and everywhere else) to have safe, legal access to cannabis for whatever reason they choose. Good luck to you tomorrow!

  14. True but it will be interesting to see what kind of backlash and arrests happen in those bordering states.

  15. ??? Free weed? I somehow doubt it. RO is not too bright with their marketing campaign but I doubt they are stupid enough to give away free weed.

  16. The more I read your posts and your user name, I see that you are a prohibitionist or a black market profiteer.

  17. a business class is really what you need, then you can prove yourself wrong.
    I should say a class in how business works and how to secure a lease and other business tools.

  18. If issue 3 passes many cannabis enthusiasts in every state bordering Ohio will come here to legally get their cannabis. Out of state consumers would pay a hefty sales tax and Ohio fills it’s general fund with a very large windfall. We would also welcome the many jobs the industry would create.

  19. Because I am high and I am a voter, therefore, voter turn out will be high, I agree completely.

  20. Based on what? Voter turn out is even more likely to be lower than 2014. The best turn outs come during Presidential elections. Mid-terms do average but certainly better than odd years. The side who wins will be the ones who can get their side motivated and out to the polls. It didn’t work out very well last November. For turn out to be better this year, it would certainly be an anomaly.

  21. There is no way to know. The voter turn out will be high. I am hoping for a win #NoOn2 #YesOn3

  22. Since they allow home growing, of course vote yes. If they didn’t, no. 4 plants can disrupt the monopolies. Just watch out for local government trying to restrict your right to grow. That’s what your next fight will be.

  23. My prediction, that is, my best guess of what WILL happen, rather than should happen, is:

    Issue 2: 52%
    Issue 3: 47%

    Of course, my dream scenario would be for both to pass, but with issue 3 with the higher percent, and the Ohio Supreme Court decides to split the difference and strip out the oligopoly provisions. Good luck, Ohio!

  24. My prediction is that Issue 2 passes with 51% and Issue 3 fails with 48% and Ohio is screwed in the future because of the greedy nature of ResponsibleOhio and their shitty attempt to buy the market resulting in impossibility of future movements for legalization. It was RO’s plan all along. Either they get rich or no one else does. I would love to be proven wrong.

  25. This should pass. The number of people who have heard of marijuana should know all the uses for this plant. A large number of everyday items can be made from hemp. That’s countless paths of industrial additions to Ohio economy. Medical uses are well known recreational uses well known. The legality aspect is just another huge improvement to unemployment numbers as I’m sure there are a large number of people who cannot bypass drug screens for jobs and are unemployed to enjoy pot. The death rate of marijuana well we all know that as well. So my question is not if and by how much will it pass but why on earth would any ohioan vote against it?

  26. JohnB,

    I’m also a Baby Boomer and I don’t understand it but I keep reading its mainly the elder who are more likely to vote against MJ legalization. I can still remember sitting in a criminal justice class in the early 70s and the professor making a prediction that MJ would be legalized within 10 years. I hope this passes in a big way. Its so overdue.

    I was almost 30 when my doctor at the time mentioned to me that I was actually middle aged. It kind of shocked me to hear it but is was true.

  27. As a member of the Baby Boomer cohort, I can tell you that I and all of my peers will be voting YES on issue 3.
    I don’t know what you consider “elderly,” but unless someone is over 72, they are more likely to be pro-cannabis than against it.

  28. I wish somebody would explain to the elderly that a vote against issue 3 might mean a criminal record for their grandchildren and essentially a lousy future.

  29. The most coherent voter response would be to reject both measures, 2&3. Passing both will prove too absurd to discuss.

  30. If there has been a bigger advocate for Ohio’s issue 3 than myself, I haven’t met them.
    Having said that, I can’t predict one way or another how it will go.

    If it fails, I will blame SoS Jon Husted specifically, as he manipulated his position as Secretary of State to influence the outcome.

    Many folks will want to blame ResponsibleOhio for including the restriction to ten parcels of land in the first place, but such a wrongheaded conclusion will ignore the plain fact that the ONLY way to get the investors on board to fund a campaign to legalize cannabis in Ohio was to guarantee them some profit for the millions they were asked to contribute.

    If anyone has a plan for getting private investors on board a plan that would open the doors wide to would-be competitors, who would get in for free,
    I’d like to hear the details of that plan, and the reasoning behind it.

    NO philanthropic money was available in Ohio to get this done, so they turned to private investors, and private investors will always demand profits.

    So, in the end, the PAC ResponsibleOhio simply did what they needed to do to secure funding, and no one should blame them for that.

    If issue 3 fails, the responsibility lies at the feet of Jon Husted, and the people he deceived with his cries of “monopoly.”

  31. As a refugee living in Colorado I am hoping for a favorable outcome. We’ll know in about 36 hours. Passions are running high on both sides of the issue so I am anticipating a larger than normal turnout for an off year election. If it follows the national and state favorable rating for legalization it should pass by 58% for 42% against. However throw in the 10 grow sites, which is not a monopoly as stated on the ballot, and it is anybody’s guess as to the outcome. I can only hold my breath that it passes for if it doesn’t, at 71 years of age, I guess I will be destined to spend the rest of my days in Colorado. I would really like to be able to go home and teach my friends how to grow their own medicine at home. That is the only way you know what you are getting is safe and effective and reasonably priced. I now have my operation costs down to $12.65 oz of top shelf quality medicine. Of course your first grow will be more expensive @ around $100 to $150 an Oz because of the cost of tent, grow pots,filters, fans and lights. From then on it’s just soil, nutrients, and electric and the occasional replacement of bulbs. Good luck Ohio. Don’t let me down and you too will be able to get out from under the thumb of the black market and their choice of meds. Got some and don’t got some strains. That’s the only choice you have now. There’s also the fines or jail time you face now. Don’t be stupid Ohio. Vote YES ON 3 and NO ON 2.

  32. That’s kind of what I have been hearing also.

    Hopefully, many potheads will put down the doobie and get their butts to the voting booth and punch this up to 65-70% yes to show the politicians that we mean business.

    Have mentioned this before, as long as there is a home grow provision then the ‘powers to be’ can fight over selling it to the few that can’t grow and have no friends.

    Home growing means freedom.

  33. saynotohypocrisy on

    If people understood Issue 2 better, I think it would fail.

    I’m hoping the urgent need for medicinal marijuana in Ohio will sway some undecided voters, and motivate people to go to the polls. 90% of Ohioans support medicinal marijuana and the Republican ruled legislature’s response is tough shit. It would be so fitting if their barbarism on medicinal marijuana leads to the legalization tomorrow of all adult use in Ohio.

  34. I never make predictions of elections because I feel its bad luck. I hope it does pass though and issue 2 fails thus it be a nail in the coffin of prohibition.

  35. The most coherent message the voters could send would be to reject both measures 2 & 3. For both to pass would be too absurd for discussion.

  36. Tha Sixonefour on

    I’ve seen said in different places that people expect a low turnout for the vote. I’m 24 and this will be the first time I vote in an election that is not deciding the President. I’ve spoken to a lot of friends and most of them have never registered to vote until now. They are going to go vote for the first time in their lives because marijuana is on the ballot. I actually expect a higher than projected turnout. Just my 2¢.

  37. The most coherent message the Ohio voters could send would be for both 2 & 3 to fail massively. For both to pass would be too absurd for discussion.

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