Ohio Says No to 'Marijuana Monopoly'

'I can't believe I voted no when it was finally on the ballot'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2015 2:38 AM CST
Updated Nov 4, 2015 6:52 AM CST
Ohio Says No to 'Marijuana Monopoly'
Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, steps out of a promotional tour bus at Miami University on Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Ohio voters have resoundingly rejected a measure that would have turned Nick Lachey into a marijuana tycoon. Issue 3 on the state's ballot on Tuesday would have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana for Ohioans over 21, but it also would have given a small number of businessmen, including former 98 Degrees singer Lachey, a monopoly over its production, CNN reports. The measure failed by around two votes to one, with plenty of pot smokers among those saying no. "I can't believe I voted 'no' when it was finally on the ballot," a 62-year-old Cincinnati-area voter tells the AP. "I think it's ridiculous that marijuana is illegal. The war on drugs has been a failure. But I don't think 10 people should have a monopoly."

Pro-marijuana groups, including the National Cannabis Industry Association, say they're not too troubled by Ohio's rejection of the "deeply flawed" measure, CNN reports. Advocates say they will push for another legalization measure, and state lawmakers who had previously been opposed to medical marijuana say the debate has changed their minds. "In talking to people, it was surprising to me how many said they support medical marijuana," Republican state Rep. Ryan Smith tells the Columbus Dispatch. "We obviously want to help the parents with children [who] are ill and the elderly [who] are suffering. We just want to make sure the scientists tell us it will help and we write it in a responsible way." (More marijuana stories.)

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