The proposition to legalize marijuana in Ohio was rejected across the state. The approval rating for legalization was only 35.9%. In the Buckeye State, voters were faced with a decision that was much more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for marijuana legalization. Numerous factors caused such a negative response to the bill.
Voter turnout is always an obstacle that lawmakers have to face. If Issue 3 was on the ballot the same year as a presidential election year, the results might have been different. Successful recreational marijuana laws passed in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington passed in presidential election years. In these elections, the electorate tends to be young, and the votes are more Democratic. Out of the 22,422 people who voted on Issue 3 in Hancock County, only 6, 084 people were in favor. Issue 3 didn’t pass in Ohio because of low voter turnout and too much at stake in one bill.
Issue 3 was more complex than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to marijuana. Voters has to decide if they were okay with marijuana being used not only for medical use, but for recreational use as well.
“It’s a leap to go from no legal marijuana to full legal marijuana,” Democratic Rep of Columbus Mike Curtin said.
Curtin believes that although Ohioans voted down Issue 3, they are willing to consider legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
“Even though the Ohio Legislature has refused for to consider medical marijuana bills for eighteen years, I have no doubt that the topic will hit the agenda soon.”
Issue 3 had a very low support rate this year. If Ohio can amend the bill for marijuana, maybe the next time the issue is on the ballot, it will be a closer race.