The size of the crushing defeat of marijuana legalization in Ohio on Tuesday surprised political experts all around the country. Although there was a $20 million campaign, Issue 3, the proposed constitutional amendment, lost. With 99% of cities and districts reporting, the amendment was voted against 64% to 36%. To provide some sort of explanation, four reasons have emerged as to why Issue 3 failed.

The first reason was because the business plan was set up too much like a monopoly. Nobody wants a monopoly.“Boy, that word monopoly. It’s been an ugly word in politics since Theodore Roosevelt’s day,” David Niven, political scientist, said at the University of Cincinnati Tuesday night. Issue 3 was a monopoly in the sense that Ohio would be limited to having just ten already chosen cultivation properties. The second reason was because of Issue 2. In order to do everything it could to stop Issue 3, the Legislature wrote Issue 2. Issue 2 was made to prohibit market monopolies, specifically to stop a “monopoly, oligopoly or cartel” from becoming an amendment in Ohio’s constitution.

The third reason is because Ohio planned to go straight from complete prohibition to complete legalization. The four states that have already approved of marijuana, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state, all legalized medical marijuana before making such a big leap. The final reason is due to off-year elections. Ian James, the executive director of ResponsibleOhio, has been working hard for this movement. He claimed that putting marijuana in a ballot during an off-year election would be cost efficient and would not be drowned out by other campaigns that arise during the even-year elections.


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