Today, voters in Ohio have the opportunity to end cannabis prohibition and legalize adult-use marijuana. A “Yes on 3” vote, NORML Founder Keith Stroup explains in an op-ed directed at supporters in the Buckeye State, “would eliminate more than 12,000 marijuana arrests each year in your state, would establish a legally regulated market where marijuana smokers could obtain their marijuana in a safe and secure environment and would permit adults to cultivate marijuana for personal use.”
Today’s vote is historic in many ways. If voters approve ResponsibleOhio’s Issue 3, it would make Ohio the fifth state in the nation, and first in the conservative Mid-West, to enact adult-use marijuana. In addition, Ohio would be the first state in the country to legalize adult-use and medical marijuana at the same time and, not only that, the first to do so under a privately-owned legalization campaign. If passed, the amendment would allow homegrown cultivation, but would also limit recreational sales to 10 initial cultivation sites, an aspect of the amendment opponents are calling a monopoly.
“I am aware of the opposition of some to this proposal, because it is an investor-driven initiative, and those investors stand to benefit financially if marijuana is legalized in Ohio,” Stroup says. “But I would urge those who smoke marijuana, and those who understand the need to end prohibition, to avoid being distracted by these secondary issues. Some people get rich in all of the legalization states – we call it the ‘green rush’ – and that should not be a surprise. We live in a free enterprise system in which individuals are encouraged to become entrepreneurs, create new jobs, and build successful businesses. And Issue 3 will create more than 1,100 new retail outlets where marijuana will be sold to the public, each one an opportunity for an ambitious individual to establish one of these new businesses, and become part of this exciting new industry.”
A competing measure, Issue 2, is aimed at banning monopolies and would reportedly supersede the legalization campaign. Issue 3 backers are already gearing up for a post-election court battle, according to Cleveland.com.
Do you think Ohio should legalize cannabis? Tell us in the comments.