Ohio didn’t say no to marijuana. Ohio said no to Crony Capitalism and a monopolized industry in Ohio. Issue 2 was created out of direct opposition of Issue 3’s monopoly language. Issue 3’s language was very very restrictive on the business aspect and that is why it didn’t pass.
The problems with Issue 3 were best summed up by Case Western University School of Law professor Jonathan Adler in the Washington Post:
“… Issue 3 would create a marijuana “monopoly” (actually, an oligopoly) consisting of 10 producers who would have their exclusive rights to engage in the commercial production of marijuana enshrined in the state constitution. The campaign in support of Issue 3 — so-called Responsible Ohio — is predictably supported by those who would hold these exclusive rights. This is crony capitalism at its worst.”
Though polls show 58% support for legalization in Ohio, the majority didn’t support it in the election due to the monopolization clause; don’t read into this as some social conservative victory. Read it as a victory against crony capitalism, as Issue 2 passed and that would prohibit any monopoly, duopoly, or oligopoly created in the state of Ohio directly by the government. Unfortunately Issue 2 will do nothing to eliminate the already existing monopoly/oligopoly of the Casino industry in Ohio.
We can look at some twitter examples to even show the people agree it was the crony capitalism aspect, not marijuana itself, that ultimately were the cause of failure:
@jaketapper Please report that they are saying no to marijuana monopolies, which is what this election (and my vote) is about.
— amk44139 (@amk44139) November 4, 2015
Ohioans didn’t say no to legal marijuana tonight (as recent polls show). They rejected a greedy initiative & poor campaign.
— Marijuana Majority (@JoinTheMajority) November 4, 2015
Man ppl surprised or upset at #Issue3 going down aren’t from here. Literally every famous pro-3 Ohioan turned out to be an investor in it
— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) November 4, 2015
The gap between @YesOn3Ohio results and generic legalization polling in OH shows this was about the oligopoly language, not marijuana.
— Dan Riffle (@DanRiffle) November 4, 2015
Full Disclosure: Author lives in Central Ohio, and did vote yes on Issue 2 and Issue 3