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martedì 3 novembre 2015



COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE) – Ohio voters could make history when they head to the polls Tuesday. Depending on the outcome of the election, Ohio could become the first state to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use in a single vote.

The decision comes down to votes on two issues, though. Issue 3 on the ballot led to the creation of Issue 2, which could keep Issue 3 from actually happening. It’s easy to see how this can get confusing, but here’s how it all breaks down.


Voting YES to Issue 3 would legalize marijuana and create 10 facilities across the state with exclusive commercial growing rights. The locations are spread out across Ohio and have big name investors including recording artist Nick Lachey and former NBA player and Indiana hoops legend Oscar Robertson.


Here is a list of the ten Ohio counties that would have marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction (MGCE) facilities:


Licking

Hamilton
Lorain
Clermont
Lucas
Delaware
Summit
Butler
Franklin
Stark
If Issue 3 passes, monopolies would be come legal immediately and marijuana would become legal 30 days after the election.

To read more about Issue 3, click here.


“Marijuana consumption and purchasing and growing is happening now, and we need to recognize that. Those are dollars that are leaving the state. These are dollars that aren’t taxed. This is product that is unregulated. We are certainly better off to directly address the issue of medical marijuana in this case and then also bring the benefit of jobs, regulations, and taxation to a market that is currently in the shadows,” Jennifer Redman with ResponsibleOhio said.


Because the growing sites are limited to only ten locations, some state lawmakers consider that to be a monopoly and created Issue 2 as a response. Voting YES to Issue 2 would likely kill Issue 3 because it would stop the growing sites.

To read more about Issue 2, click here.


“We in the legislature did not feel that people should be able to hijack our constitution and develop monopolies,” Representative Tony Burkley said. “No matter what your opinion is on marijuana, to have a monopoly spelled out in the Ohio constitution is just crazy. It’s like saying that the only cars that can be sold in Ohio are General Motors. I mean that’s basically what they’re saying.”


Issue 3 supporters said the sites don’t form a monopoly because they could add more if the demand grows. They also have plans to take sites away if they don’t follow the rules or meet the quality requirements put in place.


“It’s not a monopoly at all. It’s just a regulated industry,” Redman said. “It will bring thousands of jobs to Ohio. It will be regulated and tested marijuana so consumers know what they’re putting into their bodies. It will bring millions of dollars in annual tax revenue for our counties, townships, and municipalities.”


“I don’t really think that’s a valid argument.  They talk about adding or subtracting and in all reality, I don’t think that will ever happen. They may expand it if there are people willing to cough up the money, but I don’t think that’s really a valid argument with the way the wording of the Issue 3 is,” Burkley said. “They always say well, you can always change that later and there’s opportunities for more people to come in, but by that time, issues are not that easy to get approved in Ohio so that theory is not an accurate one in my opinion.”


Issue 3 supporters said legalizing marijuana for anyone 21 years or older is a safe and smart move.


“We are asking Ohioans to make the adult choice and to bring this out of the shadows into light and to really benefit Ohio with the jobs, the money, and the regulation that it needs,” Redman said.


However, those for Issue 2 argue Issue 3 supporters are only focusing on the financial impact and not the potentially harmful health consequences.


“We talk about heroin epidemics in Ohio and across the nation actually and if you talk to many of them, that’s where they started out was marijuana. I’m not saying marijuana is a gateway drug, but it just gets them on the path of stimulation by chemical means, and it’s just not a good situation,” Burkley said. “Most of the people that would have to deal with the consequences of the passage of Issue 3 are definitely against it. Even the medical profession views this as not the way to go when it comes to even medical marijuana. There are far more people that have to deal with the repercussions that are opposed to Issue 3 instead of those that are promoting it.”


Regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, people on both sides said it’s likely the issues will turn into lawsuits and go to court.


“I think that’s eventually going to end up in the court, which is really not a place where the voters really want that to happen and it’s just unfortunate,” Burkley said.


NewsChannel 15’s sister station WDTN put together the following breakdown of what each vote could mean:


1.) I want marijuana legalized.


Vote No on 2 and Yes on 3.

Vote ‘No’ on Issue 2 means you do not want to prohibit a monopoly (this then does not prohibit ResponsibleOhio’s amendment, which is considered a monopoly by the state)
Vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 3 means you want to legalize marijuana
2.) I do not want marijuana legalized.

Vote Yes on 2 and No on 3.

Vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 2 means you want to prohibit a monopoly (this then prohibits ResponsibleOhio’s amendment, which is considered a monopoly by the state)
Vote ‘No’ on Issue 3 means you do not want to legalize marijuana
3.) I want marijuana legalized, and I want to prohibit economic monopolies.

Vote Yes on 2 and Yes on 3.

Vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 2 means you want to prohibit a monopoly (this then prohibits ResponsibleOhio’s amendment, which is considered a monopoly by the state)
Vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 3 means you want to legalize marijuana
Voting like this creates a roadblock to ResponsibleOhio’s plans since the outcome of Issue 2 goes into effect immediately and therefore prohibits a monopoly and the state considers ResponsibleOhio’s a monopoly.
4.) I do not want marijuana legalized, and I do not want to prohibit a monopoly.

Vote No on 2 and No on 3.

Vote ‘No’ on Issue 2 means you do not want to prohibit a monopoly (this then does not prohibit ResponsibleOhio’s amendment, which is considered a monopoly by the state)
Vote ‘No’ on Issue 3 means you do not want to legalize marijuana
Voting like this does not legalize marijuana, but it does allow for economic monopolies. The outcome of Issue 2 goes into effect immediately, and so economic monopolies would be legal in Ohio.

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