Ohio votes down legalising pot for medical, recreational use

2015-11-04 09:08

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Columbus - In a single stroke, Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal on Tuesday to legalise marijuana for both recreational and medical use.

Failure of the proposed state constitutional amendment followed an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording and an investigation into the proposal's petition signatures.

The measure known as Issue 3 on the ballot would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow certain amounts of marijuana. The constitutional amendment would have established a regulatory and taxation scheme while creating a network of 10 growing facilities. That feature was a target of opponents as well as a separate ballot question aimed at preventing monopolies from being inserted into Ohio's constitution for the economic benefits of a few.

The pro-legalisation ResponsibleOhio campaign spent at least $12 million on ads. But it faced opposition from a well-organized, diverse coalition of opponents that includes children's hospitals, business organisations and farmers.

Critics said the proposal's arrangement would amount to an economic monopoly designed for personal gain.

Turnout was low as early presidential politicking largely overshadowed campaigns and exacerbated voter disinterest that generally accompanies an off-year election.

Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska, along with the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana.

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