Ohio votes against legalizing recreational marijuana

Ohio voters chose not to legalize recreational and medical marijuana on Tuesday. Ohio could have become the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but voters rejected the ballot initiative, according to electoral projections.

The controversy surrounding "Issue 3" was not limited to the physical effects of pot. The ballot initiative in Ohio may have have created a "marijuana monopoly" for well-connected pot profiteers, as the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney previously noted. This caused consternation among some drug legalization supporters.

The reefer referendum also found opposition from popular Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who's running for president as a Republican. The governor strongly opposes drug use and referenced his opposition to drugs several times in a speech announcing his presidential campaign.

The Buckeye State serves as a swing state in presidential elections and can function as a microcosm of the country on controversial issues. Seventeen states could see marijuana on the ballot next year. The loss in Ohio this year could thwart some of the momentum that legalization and decriminalization efforts had gained upon victories in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., in recent years.

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