Ohio overwhelmingly rejects marijuana legalization

Posted at 8:40 PM, Nov 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-04 07:00:49-05

In a mild surprise, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot proposal during Tuesday’s election to legalize marijuana for medical and personal use.

The proposal was losing by a 65 to 35 margin with 80 percent of vote accounted for as of 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Had Ohio’s Issue 3 passed, Ohio would have become the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The proposal would have allowed for 10 companies to set up grow sites in the state for the production and sale of marijuana.

The state’s Republican Party was in opposition of the measure. The GOP-led legislature placed an anti-Issue 3 initiative on the November ballot. That measure was winning by a slim 53 to 47 margin as of Tuesday evening according to Ohio's Secretary of State.

Issue 2 was being used to prevent companies from using Ohio’s constitution to set up monopolies.

Issue 3 backers raised more than $25 million in support of the marijuana issue, while encouraging Ohio voters to decline Issue 2.

Issue 3 backer Responsible Ohio requested polls in Cincinnati remain open later due to a technical glitch, which caused many polls to open late. A Hamilton County judge ordered polls in the county to remain open 90 minutes past the 7:30 p.m. closing. Polls in Ohio's other 87 counties closed as scheduled.