Thirty minutes after statewide results were posted, the push to legalize marijuana in Ohio was declared dead, with about 64 percent of voters saying no to ResponsibleOhio's Issue 3, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Marijuana legalization in some form could happen. “Although Issue 3 was handily defeated, the debate and conversations about the issue have convinced House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and other state lawmakers who were staunchly opposed to legalization to now say it may be time to move ahead with medical marijuana. “After going through this process, myself and many of my colleagues realize there's tremendous support for medical marijuana and something we should have a bigger discussion about,” said Rep. Ryan Smith a leader in the House.
Ian James of ResponsibleOhio, sponsor of the defeated proposition, said, “Life and legalization are a journey. We have taken the initial steps here to bring legalization here to Ohio. We have always said we will listen to the voters. We trust the voters. The voters said clearly they did not like this plan. While we're disappointed, we will start a new conversation tomorrow.” Curt Steiner of Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, said, “Issue 3 was nothing more and nothing less than a business plan to seize control of the recreational marijuana market in Ohio … Never underestimate the wisdom of Ohio voters. They saw through the smokescreen of slick ads, fancy but deceptive mailings, phony claims about tax revenues and, of course, Buddie the marijuana mascot.” Gov. John Kasich said, “At a time when too many families are being torn apart by drug abuse, Ohioans said no to easy access to drugs and instead chose a path that helps strengthen our families and communities.”