Today Ohioans will make a big decision. Should weed be legal? Not just medical marijuana but all weed?
We've seen many commercials for both sides of Issue 3. But are they fact or fiction?
One ad comes from ResponsibleOhio, the campaign to legalize weed:
In it, we see two older women having a discussion in a kitchen.
"What do you think about Issue 3," one asks.
"It's a smart, safe plan. Like most states that legalized marijuana, it initially limits the number of growers for strict regulation before adding more. Plus it puts drug dealers out of business. What about you?" asks the other woman.
"Well I like that yes on three provides medical marijuana for those in need and that might be me someday," says the first woman.
"That's a regulated industry without creating a monopoly," the other says.
"For medical marijuana vote no on two and yes on three," the announcer says.
We want to look at two points made in this commercial:
"Like most states that legalize marijuana, it initially limits the number of growers for strict regulation before adding more."
While this is true, this really gets to one of the main sticking points. Ohio will only allow 10 farms to grow the weed that will be sold in Ohio. Add more? The issue will only allow one more farm in four years if the original 10 can't meet demand.
"Plus it puts drug dealers out of business."
This is fiction. What they're trying to say is that if weed is sold in 1,100 retail shops, there will be no need for pot-selling drug dealers.
Now let's dig into the No on 3 that uses one narrator:
"Issue 3, the marijuana amendment, is a bad deal. It would change Ohio's constitution and gr ant a few wealthy investors a marijuana monopoly. They get exclusive ownership of marijuana sites to make millions. Issue 3 allows marijuana lollipops, gummy bears, and candy, posing a threat to our kids. Join Ohio's police, doctors, nurses, educators and leading newspapers in voting no. No on marijuana monopoly. No on marijuana candy. No on Issue 3."
Here are the two issues with this commercial:
"it changes Ohio's constitution and grants a monopoly."
Yes, it will change the constitution. If it passes, those laws have to go on the books. The monopoly question is again the sticking point. There will be 10 farms that have already been purchased by at least 24 separate investors.
There will be 1,100 licenses handed out for retail shops. So is that a monopoly? Some say yes, others no.
"Issue 3 allows marijuana lollipops, gummy bears, and candy, posing a threat to our kids."
Weed candies, or "edibles," will be allowed. It might be a little bit of a scare tactic to say they are a threat, but it does play into the idea of marijuana looking appealing to children.
The "edibles" will only be sold to people 21 and older in the licensed shops.