On Election Day 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment to legalize medical and recreational marijuana. The proposed amendment, Issue 3, was highly controversial because it created a constitutional monopoly for marijuana production and processing. Ohio was the only state to consider marijuana legalization this year and this was the first defeat for marijuana legalization since Florida’s medical marijuana rejection in 2014.
Issue 3 conditioned Ohio’s legalization of marijuana on the requirement that a few select persons were solely responsible for production. Issue 3 endowed “exclusive rights for commercial marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction to self-designated landowners who own ten predetermined parcels of land. . .” This clause established a constitutional monopoly of marijuana production, which complicated the issue of marijuana legalization for Ohio voters.