In the end, $25 million and all the charisma of Buddie could not persuade Ohio voters to set up a monopoly of 10 grow operators to supply a legal market. “This vote has brought us a step closer to legalizing in 2016,” said Sri Kavaru, pre-sident of Legalize2016,who have already begun signature gathering. Almost 2 million said no to Issue 3, which had been funded by 35 millionaires who did offer home growing, and an open ended number of MMJ centers with about 1,050 proposed RMJ stores. But in passing Issue 2 (by 52%), voters did send a signal that they did not like the Constitution to be used for the advantage of any business group. “Change takes time,” said Issue 3 backer and former boy band sensation, Nick Lechey. MJ prohibitionists will be heartened by the defeat.
“The issues… were overshadowed by the brazen nature and far-reaching extent of the statewide money grab,” said Curt Steiner of Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies. “The foundation has been laid for… a more common-sense initiative and have a major impact on the presidential conversation in the process,” said NCIA’s Aaron Smith. Others were relieved that big money interests were not able to push through a bad law in the name of medical MJ relief.
In Colorado, voters said yes(66% to 34%) to allowing the state to retain some $61.1 million in tax revenues which were beyond projections therefore triggering a vote by the entire state. With the yes vote, Colorado taxpayers okayed the allocation of $40 million to school building construction, another $12 mill. for youth and substance abuse programs, and about $14.1 mill. for other programs to be decided by state legislators. “We’re just fulfilling the promises that we made when Amendment 64 was passed,” said State Rep. Polly Lawrence of Douglas county.
Here are nine things we learned from the Ohio election that no other campaign to legalize cannabis should ever try and do again.
9. Don't run MJ reform in an off-year election. 8. Bring more substance to the medical MJ proposition 7. Don't set up a monopoly of suppliers 6. Get some citizen funding-- not just your millionaire backers 5. Try to get greater political suppot (like the Governor) 4.Get some outside expert help (not just insider Ian James) 3. Don't run a combined MMJ and RMJ campaign at same time 2. Move from saving on prisons to increasing citizen freedoms 1. Don't create a non-sensical, insulting persona like "Buddie"