Buckeye voters have a huge decision to make–whether to legalize marijuana.
But there are actually two issues about marijuana, and they are in opposition to each other.
Issue Three would legalize marijuana in Ohio, both medical and recreational.
“Quite frankly, from the numbers I’m seeing, it is neck and neck and it is going to be a very interesting vote on Tuesday,” said Mark Thomas, Belmont County Commissioner.
Issue Three would also set up a monopoly, limiting who could grow and produce it.
“Issue Three states in the amendment that there will be ten marijuana farms, they are already predetermined, and the owners of those farms are predetermined,” Thomas explained.
Issue Two was placed on the ballot to combat the “monopoly” aspect of Issue Three.
In fact, Issue Two is dubbed “The Anti-Monopoly Issue.”
So what happens if Issue Three–the legalization–and Issue Two –the anti monopoly–both pass?
“Then it’s going to end up in a huge battle that will ultimately end up in the Ohio Supreme Court,” Thomas predicted.
It’s bringing voters out of the woodwork.
In Belmont County alone, 5,000 early voters have already turned out, which for an off-year election is a lot.
“We’re not getting a sense of which way they’re voting on the issue, but they certainly are coming out to vote on it,” noted Bill Shubat, election board director.
People on the street are divided about legalizing marijuana.
“I think it’s certainly making a mess in Colorado,” said Dessie Bethel of Morristown, “So I don’t really want to see it come to Ohio.”
“The statistics with kids that have recreational marijuana, the number of dropouts is increasing,” said Katrina Malstrom of St. Clairsville. “So that’s something that’s kind of scary.”
“I’m going to have to say I’m not in favor of it,” said John Burke of Beallsville. “I’m afraid it will lead to other things.”
“Well, I think it has obvious health benefits,” said Paul Miller of Cincinnati. “And to me, it just makes no sense for alcohol to be legal, cigarettes to be legal, and not marijuana. We could tax it. It would produce a lot of tax revenue.”
“The vote on Tuesday, like any vote, is very important, but it’s going to be interesting to watch,” said Thomas.