Issue three fails miserably

Joey Dowd 16

More stories from Joey Dowd '16

Letter to Bearcat fans
January 8, 2016

This year Ohioans voted on legalizing of marijuana. Cincinnati voters decided on a new park tax. No matter where you live in Ohio, people elected local officials and school board members.  Kentuckians also voted on a new governor.

With all that I think everybody knows what the main focus of this election was, issue three (The legalization of marijuana). Despite a $20 million dollar campaign, issue three did not find itself on the winning end after the elections.

At the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in downtown Columbus, opponents of legalization rejoiced in their double victory that they achieved even though they were outspent by a whopping 12-to-1 ratio.

A lot of people are probably wondering how issue three got shot down so bad. One of the main reasonsiIssue three faced so much trouble on election-day was due to the term “monopoly” that got slapped on it from the outset, and Issue three backers could never run it down.

Another reason issue three failed so badly was due to issue two. Issue two was made explicitly to prevent a “monopoly, oligopoly or cartel” from getting established in the state’s constitution.

One of the things that really affected voter’s opinions towards the issue was the full jump from prohibition to full blown legalization of marijuana. The four states that have legalized marijuana so far (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) had already established programs for medical marijuana before becoming recreational. Democratic represenitive Mike Curtin of Columbus said Ohioans, though, are willing to consider medical marijuana. When debating Issue 2 and 3 around the state, he found that voters want to have that discussion. Even though the Ohio legislature has refused for 18 years to consider medical marijuana bills, Curtin said “no doubt” the topic will hit the agenda soon.

Issue three was also placed on an off-year election ballot. Even though it was less money and wasn’t faded away due to other campaigns all other states have had marijuana issues on the ballot on even years so they get a higher voting turn out. In Ohio’s case I believe they will never put marijuana on the ballot during a presidential vote.

Talking to many Elder students who voted on the issue this year claimed to be pretty surprised the issue did not pass. One student Ben Pflum said that it was a good thing that it didn’t pass due to how the issue was set up. Pflum claims that if the issue ever passes they will need to change the issue up quite a bit.

Overall, I think that we will see marijuana on the ballot again in the near future. There are always many other questions that surround the issue not even just in Ohio but everywhere, how educated are people on this issue? I think that the people behind the marijuana movement have a lot to do in order for Ohio to ever be a pro-marijuana state.