Opposition was strongest in suburbia to Ohio's first-in-the-nation effort to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in a single vote, says an analysis of election results reported by the Associated Press. About 7 in 10 voters in the counties that ring Columbus and Toledo voted against last fall's Issue 3, while more than 60 percent voted against it in the counties surrounding Dayton, Cleveland and Cincinnati, said Columbus-based election statistics expert Mike Dawson. Dawson said opposition was highest in affluent, well-educated suburbs.
“There's a real fear about drugs in the suburbs that didn't exist in the past, because of all the stuff that's going on with opiates and heroin,” Dawson said. “They're worried about marijuana being a gateway drug.” The legalization question failed in every one of Ohio's 88 counties. That's something the man who led the campaign will take into account in a possible return to the ballot in 2016. “The self-selection of growers was a nonstarter for a large swath of pro-marijuana legalization supporters,” said ResponsibleOhio director Ian James.