The group behind a controversial plan to legalize recreational and medical marijuana in Ohio is involved in more drama, this time in battling with The Ohio Ballot Board over the wording of their amendment, now deemed Issue 3.
ResponsibleOhio, who recently learned that their measure had made this November’s statewide ballot, says the wording of the measure approved by the ballot board is misleading and designed to get voters to vote against Issue 3.
"When the Ballot Board prescribes language to ballot initiatives, it is meant to be a neutral, fair representation of the proposal at hand,” RO said in a statement.
"The ballot language assigned to the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, Issue 3, is clearly biased and gives preference to the arguments of marijuana reform opponents. The language is inaccurate and strategically worded as to misguide voters.”
One of the issues RO has with the ballot board is the changing of the phrase “personal use” (RO’s phrase) to “recreational.” They have pledged a fight to the state supreme court over the wording of the measure.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says the ballot language accurately reflects the proposal. "In the end, I think the voters in Ohio are going to clearly know what they're voting for," he said. "They are either going to vote to legalize a marijuana monopoly in this state or they're going to vote to reject it."
Secretary Husted’s use of the term “monopoly” indicates his displeasure with the measure being on the ballot in the first place, a common feeling among politicians – and even some cannabis activists – within the state.
One thing is for sure: Issue 3 will be mired in drama and controversy right up until the vote on November 3rd and beyond.