Yesterday the results on Issue 2 and Issue 3 (a vote on whether to legalise marijuana) came in, and Ohio voted not to legalise it. I spoke to people around me about what they thought about these issues, and most of them shared that they wanted marijuana to be legalised for recreational and medicinal usage.
The people I talked to were few in number, but there does seem to be some good dialogue in general around the country, especially in the light of the 20+ states who have already legalised marijuana and the possible medical and taxation benefits that could come with it.
Issue 3 was about legalising having one ounce of marijuana for personal and/or medical use and for a person to grow (a restricted number) and sell up to eight ounces of the stuff from homegrown plants with the use of a license. It also covered having ten designated marijuana plant growing farms/facilities, under various guidelines, that would commercially produce and sell to nonprofit medical dispensaries, manufacturers and retail stores. This was where Issue 2 came in, as the ten designated marijuana growing facilities created concern that an overwhelming power and financial gain would be in the hands of the few, possibly enabling monopolies, oligopolies or cartels to maybe get exclusive financial or tax gains.
Interestingly, the people of Ohio who made their mark, voted as follows:
I know a few people who were very confused about the wording of Issues 2 and 3 and that may well have had an impact on how they voted and the end results as some people I spoke to want marijuana to be legal but do not think a potential monopoly in the hands of the few designated facilities was a good idea – so although making marijuana legal was not passed (by a margin of 800,000+) the issue of whether voters wanted to prohibit monopolies – which they did – was fairly close with just 97,000+ votes in it. There was a lot of discussion around these issues, and it was fascinating to talk to and hear what people had to say – and to see what the results showed.
I am left with a question though – was the vote to keep marijuana illegal down to whether the voters do not think it should be legal for recreational or medicinal use, or because they do not want a few facilities and groups having control over it? Has there been enough done to explain the medicinal benefits of marijuana, or the concerns around its use?
As ever, I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you in Ohio or one of the states that already have marijuana legalised? What is your opinion?