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Debate Over Legalization is Far From Over in Ohio

Ohioans in November rejected a well-funded proposal to legalize marijuana, but the issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

More ballot issues are in the works, state lawmakers have vowed to act on medical marijuana, and activists across the state are working on local ballot measures that would allow people to possess marijuana without penalty.

Marijuana advocates with little funding failed for years to put a marijuana initiative on the ballot. But in 2015, dozens of deep-pocketed investors banded together under the name ResponsibleOhio to propose Issue 3, which would have legalized recreational and medical marijuana sales and use. In exchange for contributing $20 million to the campaign, the funders would have owned the only 10 sites where commercial marijuana could be grown.

Issue 3 went up in smoke on Election Day, with 64 percent of voters saying “no.” But political observers said the result shouldn’t be seen as an up or down vote on legalization, pointing to polls showing a slim majority of Ohioans are OK with recreational pot and more than 8 in 10 support medical marijuana. [Read more at Cleveland.com]

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