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Ohio Says No to Marijuana Legalization

Ohio voters rejected ending pot prohibition on Election Day. The controversial legalization amendment, which split the cannabis reform movement, lost by a 2-1 margin 

ResponsibleOhio's Issue 3 would've created 10 production facilities for its primary investors by amending the state's constitution. Some critics went so far as to call Issue 3 "un-American" because it restricted competition; however, there would've been open bidding for the more than 1,000 retail outlets.

Issue 3 lagged behind 65%-35%. Meanwhile, Issue 2 – the "Anti-Monopoly Amendment" – which likely would've blocked Issue 3 if it had won, scored a 52%-48% victory.

Not since Prop 19 in California in 2010 had their been such a divisive legalization campaign. Most of the major reform organizations – DPA, MPP, NCIA, SSDP – stayed on the sidelines rather support Issue 3. NORML offered a lukewarm endorsement. Only ACLU of Ohio, LEAP, Freedom Leaf and activists like CannabisRadio.com host Russ Belville jumped on the Yes on 3 bandwagon.

The pro-pot anti-campaign was spearheaded by Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, the Green Party of Ohio and the Libertarian Party of Ohio, and by activists like Athens attorney Don Wirschafter.

"When establishment politicians, police ands stoners unite while organizations waffle prohibition can be extended indefinitely," Freedom Leaf senior editor Chris Goldstein tells CelebStoner.

The investors at the heart of the debate over Issue 3 included former NBA great Oscar Robertson, singer Nick Lachey, fashion designer Nanette Lepore and distant relatives of Pres. William Howard Taft. They reportedly spent $25 on the losing effort

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.