Grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes

Proposed Constitutional Amendment (Proposed by Initiative Petition) To add Section 12 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio. A YES vote means approval of the constitutional amendment. A No vote means disapproval of the constitutional amendment. A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted.

If approved, the proposed amendment will take effect 30 days after Election Day.

The proposed amendment would:
• Endow exclusive rights for commercial marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction to self-designated landowners who own ten predetermined parcels of land in Butler, Clermont, Franklin, Hamilton,
Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Delaware, Stark, and Summit Counties. One
additional location may be allowed for in four years.
• Permit retail sale of recreational marijuana at approximately 1,100 locations statewide.
• Legalize the production of marijuana-infused products, including edible products, concentrates, sprays, ointments and tinctures by marijuana product manufacturing facilities.
• Allow each person, 21 years of age or older, to purchase, grow, possess, use, transport and share over one-half pound of marijuana or its equivalent in marijuana-infused products at a time (a total of 8 ounces of usable, homegrown marijuana for recreational use, plus 1 ounce of purchased marijuana for recreational use), plus 4 homegrown, flowering marijuana plants. Authorize the use of medical marijuana by any person, regardless of age, who has a certification for a debilitating medical condition.
• Permits marijuana growing, cultivation and extraction facilities, product manufacturing facilities, retail marijuana stores and not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries to be within 1,000 feet of a house of worship; a publicly owned library; a public or chartered non-public elementary or secondary school; or a child day-care center, or playground that is built after January 1, 2015 or after the date the marijuana operation applies for a license to operate.
• Prohibit any local or state law, including zoning laws, from being applied to prohibit the development or operation of marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction facilities, retail marijuana stores, and medical marijuana dispensaries unless the area is zoned exclusively residential as of January 1, 2015 or as of the date that an application for a license is first filed for a marijuana establishment.
• Create a special tax rate limited to 15% on gross revenue of each marijuana growth, cultivation, and extraction facility and marijuana product manufacturing facility and a special tax rate limited to 5% on gross revenue of each retail marijuana store. Revenues from the tax go to a municipal and township government fund, a strong county fund, and the marijuana control commission fund.
• Create a marijuana incubator in Cuyahoga County to promote growth and development of the marijuana industry and locate marijuana testing facilities near colleges and universities in Athens, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Mahoning, Scioto and Wood Counties, at a minimum.
• Limits the ability of the legislature and local governments from regulating the manufacture, sales, distribution and use of marijuana and marijuana products. Create a new state government agency called the marijuana control commission (with limited authority) to regulate the industry, comprised of seven Ohio residents appointed by the Governor, including a physician, a law enforcement officer, an administrative law attorney, a patient advocate, a resident experienced in owning, developing, managing and operating businesses, a resident with experience in the legal marijuana industry, and a member of the public.
LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK:  Issue 3 has a two-fold objective: (1) to legalize marijuana for personal and medical use and (2) to establish rules for growth and sales. Growth and cultivation of marijuana will be limited to ten pre-determined specific "grow sites" situated throughout the state. The ten sites already have designated investors. There will also be a number of predetermined  "quality control" sites throughout the state to test the product being cultivated. About 1,100 retail outlets will be allowed to sell marijuana, but they must buy it only from the ten specified sites and cannot develop their own supplies. Individuals may grow up to four plants and possess up to eight ounces of actual product at one time. The four plants must also be bought from the ten specified wholesale grow sites. Under this initiative, individuals possessing or cultivating over 100 grams of marijuana would be committing a felony. Selling marijuana outside of the sanctioned outlets would also be a felony, with a possible sentence of up to one year in prison.

PRO: 1.  Marijuana will, within the strict limits specified in the initiative, become legal to cultivate, use, and sell in Ohio for medicinal and personal use. 2. Issue 3 creates rules for a tightly controlled industry.  The system of designated grow sites will address standards of public safety. 3. Issue 3 will create tens of thousands of jobs in Ohio and will eventually generate millions of dollars in tax revenue to support local government services.

CON: 1. The state constitution should be used to protect the fundamental rights of all individuals, not to enshrine an extremely detailed plan creating excludive financial deals for a group of special interest investors. 2. The initiative sets up an exclusive business scheme that eliminates competition to such an extent that independent business owners could be permanently locked out of what is projected to be a billion-dollar market and individual users who do not abide by the strict restrictions will still be subject to criminal penalties. 3. Issue 3 will flood Ohio with marijuana and marijuana-infused products, like candy and cookies, that put the public health and safety of Ohio's adults and children in danger.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters has compiled information for each of the issues that Heights voters will be voting on in November.

For your information:

  • The title listed for each issue is the official title assigned by the Ohio Ballot Board.
  • Summaries of each issue immediately following the official ballot wording originated from material issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or, in the case of Issue 53, citations from the resolution submitted to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections by the Cleveland Heights City Council. 
  • LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK summaries of the state and county ballot issues were prepared by members of the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund and The League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga County.
  • The pros and cons listed for each issue are abbreviated versions of the arguments put forward by the respective issue campaigns.

The League of Women Voters is a national non-partisan organization that supports or opposes issues it studies, but does not endorse candidates.

To view LWV positions on current issues, visit

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:36 AM, 10.01.2015