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Ohio Marijuana Legalization: 2 Proposed Amendments Could Confuse Voters

Image: Ohio Marijuana Legalization: 2 Proposed Amendments Could Confuse Voters
Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, holds a sign during a promotional tour stop at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 12:41 PM

Ohio voters will vote on two proposed Constitutional amendments pertaining to marijuana legalization on Tuesday, but proponents are worried one initiative could sabotage the other.

According to The New York Times, Issue 3 is an amendment that would allow state residents to use marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes. 

The campaign for the proposed amendment was bankrolled to the tune of $25 million dollars by private investors, and grants just 10 farms the right to grow marijuana commercially. Because some of the amendment backers are also invested in the farms, many say Issue 3 could end up granting a monopoly to those investors should it pass.

Thus, the Ohio General Assembly has introduced Issue 2, an antimonopoly amendment that would "prohibit any petitioner from using the Ohio Constitution to grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for their exclusive financial benefit or to establish a preferential tax status."

If both Issue 3 and Issue 2 pass, there is a strong likelihood the latter would kill the former, and, at the very least, a protracted legal battle is expected.

"This is a real dirty trick by the legislature — they did it in just three days — that would ban what we're trying to do," Woody Taft, a great-great grandnephew of President Taft and one of 25 investors in the 10 designated marijuana farms, told CNN Money.

Taft said that the investors would benefit, but also pointed out that the industry would create an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 jobs.

"A lot of the other entrepreneurs stand to make a lot of money from this," he said.

He also pointed out that the passage of Issue 3 would allow private citizens to grow and use their own marijuana.

Because of its swing-state status, many political forecasters believe the Ohio vote will set the tone for future states considering the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is currently running for president, has come out against Issue 3.

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Ohio voters will vote on two proposed Constitutional amendments pertaining to marijuana legalization on Tuesday, but proponents are worried one initiative could sabotage the other.
ohio, marijuana, legalization, vote, amendments
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2015-41-03
Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 12:41 PM
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