According to the latest Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal. Surveys conducted in March and October found that most Ohioans agree. So why did Ohio voters overwhelmingly reject Issue 3, which would have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, in last week's election? Two reasons spring to mind.

1. Ohio voters do not like crony capitalism.

The campaign against Issue 3, dubbed Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies, focused on the initiative's most controversial feature: a cannabis cultivation cartel that would have limited commercial production to 10 sites controlled by the initiative's financial backers. As I explained here last week, that aspect of the initiative caused consternation even among people who otherwise support marijuana legalization. Two leading drug policy reform groups, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), were conspicuously neutral on Issue 3. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) issued a decidedly ambivalent endorsement under the headline "Investor-Driven Legalization: A Bitter Pill to Swallow." The Republican Liberty Caucus of Ohio and the Libertarian Party of Ohio were opposed.

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Jacob Sullum ~ Forbes.com

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