Welcomr to Ohio/No Pot sign

On November 3, 2015, voters in the State of Ohio overwhelmingly rejected marijuana legalization by a nearly 2:1 margin and it was defeated in all 88 counties of the state! This came as a surprising blow to proponents of legalization who spent a whopping $20 million dollars on the Ohio Amendment 3 campaign. Opponents spent only about $1 million and mainly used their internal communication systems as well as news conferences and debate platforms to warn against the dangers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio.

Had Issue 3 passed in Ohio it would have been the first state to make marijuana legal for both medical and recreational use in one single stroke. This would have included legalizing the use of marijuana in not only a smoking form but an edible form for Ohioans aged 21 or older, and it would have legalized the medical form (including edibles) for those of any age with “qualifying” medical conditions.

The proponents for the Amendment called themselves “Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis” and were composed of a group of 24 investors including NBA star Oscar Robertson, former boy band celebrity Nick Lachey, and descendants of President William Howard Taft.

Roll of money with marijuanaThis greed-driven organization would have formed a monopoly of entrepreneurs who would have been the sole owners of 10 pre-selected grow sites in the state.

When surveyed, voters who voted no on Issue 3 expressed concern about exposing children to marijuana. It is well-documented that states that have easy access to marijuana also have dramatically increased drug use.1

Though the opponents to legalization did not have a great deal of money invested in the campaign, they did acquire endorsements from more than 140 groups around the state including medical, legal, banking, law enforcement, chambers of commerce, political entities, trade unions and mental health and addiction agencies. They also exposed the fact that a small group of investors were the only ones who stood to benefit monetarily form this legalization. It was a plan to make selected people very rich.

“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,” said Gov. John Kasich. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, along with Gov. Kasich and other elected officials saw the legalization of marijuana as bad for public health and opening the door to increased drug use among more young people.

Even though they were up against a very well-organized and well-funded campaign, the bottom line is that Ohio voters saw through the propaganda and protected Ohio families from legalization and all it brings with it.

Youth smoking a jointThey set a good example for the rest of us and let us know that legalization is NOT inevitable. The more we see of the insanity in Colorado and California, many of us with first-hand observation, the more the average voter sees through the hype and views legalization as what it really is—a Big-Tobacco type commercialization of pot and THC products with huge profits for investors and at great expense to our children.

Here in Florida we are taking grass-roots measures to bring the word to those who have influence and can DO something effective to stop the efforts to legalize.

With letters to Florida CEOs, THC Education Day Proclamations, Social Media, Educational websites, School participation in a THC Education Contest, connecting up with like-minded groups, working with law enforcement and Word of Mouth we are getting the consequences of legalization efforts known individual by individual.

It is many such grass roots movements as this that will help us protect Florida from this unscrupulous commercialization that bypasses all needed common-sense efforts to actually change and improve drug policy—something akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Except the victims in using the legalization sledgehammer are our children who would grow up under the influence of the “normalization” of pot use and THC infused edibles.

1Article: Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence