CLEVELAND- Voters rejected an amendment to the constitution that would make Ohio the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Issue 3, sponsored by the group ResponsibleOhio, would have also allowed for medical marijuana and created a system for testing pot quality. But it only permitted 10 predetermined sites to grow and manufacture marijuana.
The results prompted praise from Ohio Gov. John Kasich:
Curt Steiner, campaign director for Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, released the following statement:
"I wish to acknowledge that a number of voters on the side that didn’t prevail tonight have strong feelings about a couple of issues in particular: legal reform – and the availability of medical marijuana.
"But those issues got overshadowed during this debate. Overshadowed by the brazen nature and far-reaching extent of the statewide money grab attempted by Issue 3 backers -- an attempt voters concluded was, in this instance, an unsavory abuse of the ballot issue process."
Executive director of ResponsibleOhio, Ian James, had this to say:
"We'd like to thank the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who worked tirelessly to put Issue 3 on the ballot, educate friends and family members and who voted to bring marijuana reform to our state. We would have never gotten this far without your support.
"We trust the voters. We started the conversation, and we're going to continue the conversation starting tomorrow. The status quo doesn't work, it's unacceptable and we're not going away. All the things we've fought for are true. Ohioans still need treatment and deserve compassionate care. And our state needs the jobs and tax revenue that marijuana legalization will bring."
Issue 2, an amendment proposed by state legislators to ban constitutional monopolies, passed.