Pubdate: Fri, 09 Oct 2015
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2015 The Blade
Author: Jim Provance

Issue 3


COLUMBUS - A poll released Thursday showed that more than half of 
Ohio voters believe that adults' personal use of small amounts of 
marijuana should be legal.

When it comes to just medical use, support soars to 90 percent, 
according to the Quinnipiac Poll.

The poll questions, however, were broadly phrased for voters in the 
presidential swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida and were 
not specifically tailored to Issue 3. That's the pot legalization and 
commercialization question on the Nov. 3 ballot, on which Ohioans are 
already voting.

The proposed constitutional amendment would legalize marijuana for 
recreational and medical purposes.

It also would build a wholesale and retail infrastructure around the 
newly legal product. Issue 3 would write the parcel numbers of 10 
specific, investor-run growing locations - including one in North 
Toledo - into the Ohio Constitution, and it has sparked debate over 
whether that operation represents a commercial monopoly.

According to the poll, voters said they would support allowing adults 
to possess "small amounts" of marijuana for personal use by a margin 
of 53 percent to 47 percent. That's outside the poll's margin of 
error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Just 9 percent of Ohio voters said they don't like the idea of 
legalizing pot for medical use only. Quinnipiac questioned 1,180 Ohio voters.

"This has confirmed everything we're seeing in our own internal 
polling," said ResponsibleOhio's executive director, Ian James. 
"We're seeing incredible intensity that they don't seem to measure. 
The majority of Ohioans are ready to reform Ohio marijuana laws and 
failed prohibition.

"Ninety percent support medical marijuana. You don't get medical 
marijuana without voting for Issue 3."

Curt Steiner, campaign manager for the Issue 3 opposition, called the 
Quinnipiac question misleading.

"Issue 3 is about a lot more than what that question is," Mr. Steiner 
said. "It's a constitutional amendment. It's 6,500 words long. It 
permits marijuana-infused products - cookies, candies, and liquids. 
It authorizes more than 1,100 retail outlets statewide to sell all 
those products, plus the medical dispensaries.

"It allows for more than a small amount of marijuana. If you are a 
typical couple and might have kids, you are going to be allowed up to 
eight ounces of homegrown and up to an ounce of store-bought [each], 
so for two people you are well over a pound."

Of those questioned, just 16 percent of registered voters said they 
would definitely or probably use it, while 84 percent said they 
probably or definitely would not.

ResponsibleOhio, the investor-financed group behind Issue 3, has been 
airing TV ads for nearly two months in support of the proposed 
constitutional amendment.

On Wednesday, the opposition unveiled its first 30-second ad that, 
for now, will be available on digital platforms only, such as 
computers and mobile devices, through the election.

The spot focuses on the monopoly aspect of the issue and child safety 
concerns related to candy and other edibles made from marijuana.

"If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then the Red Planet 
might be the more spacey place," said Peter A. Brown, assistant 
director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "That's because men are 
more likely than women to support legalization of marijuana for 
recreational use.

"Not surprisingly, support for the change is linked to age, with 
younger voters more likely to see personal use of pot as a good thing."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom