By: Anna Starkey
As the first Tuesday of November arrived, polls across the state welcomed in voters. This year, alongside local elections, Ohioans had the opportunity to vote on three important issues: Anti-Gerrymandering, Anti-Monopolies, and Marijuana legalization.
The first, and highest approved issue, was issue one. This amendment to the Ohio Constitution ends the partisan process for redrawing districts within Ohio and replaces it with a bipartisan process in which district boundaries are more compact and politically competitive. Ohioans delivered approximately 2 million yes and only 800,000 no.
The second, and much closer, was issue two. This amendment prohibits any petitioner from using the Ohio Constitution to grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for their exclusive financial benefit or to establish a preferential tax status. Ohioans agreed with this amendment with approximately 1.5 million yes to 1.4 million no.
The third, and most controversial, was issue three. This amendment would have allowed exclusive rights for commercial marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction. Additionally, the retail sale of recreational marijuana and marijuana-infused products would have been legalized. Ohioans struck down this amendment with 1.9 million no.
With the passage of issue one, gerrymandering will now be prevented within the state of Ohio, meaning that state district lines will be drawn with more agreement between political parties in the future. Unlike issue one, issue two and three directly relate to each other. With the passage of issue 2, issue 3 was automatically vetoed due to issue 3 creating a monopoly for the marijuana industry in Ohio. However, rewriting and rewording for the fall 2016 election has already begun regarding marijuana legalization, perhaps suggesting the future passage of the amendment.
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