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Court: Ohio Must Rewrite 'Misleading' Pot Ballot

State Supreme Court takes issue with 4 paragraphs, allows 'monopoly' wording
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2015 4:33 AM CDT
Court: Ohio Must Rewrite 'Misleading' Pot Ballot
Dr. Sarah Denny speaks during a coalition opposing ResponsibleOhio's proposed Constitutional amendment to create a marijuana monopoly on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio.   (Tom Dodge/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Ohio's Supreme Court has sided with pot supporters—at least in part—ruling that language on a ballot outlining a proposal to legalize marijuana is misleading and needs to be rewritten. The measure to be decided Nov. 3, known as Issue 3, would legalize marijuana use and sales for those 21 and older and permit medicinal use for kids with their parents' approval, reports Commercial marijuana would only be grown at 10 authorized sites; however, those backing the measure had argued that four paragraphs on the ballot, focusing on the possibility of additional grow sites, where and how retail stores can open, and how much marijuana a person can grow and transport, were deceptive, per the AP.

The court agreed, noting "the cumulative effect of these defects in the ballot language is fatal because the ballot language fails to properly identify the substance of the amendment, a failure that misleads voters." However, the court allowed another statement which marijuana supporters had argued against. The measure says it "grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes," but pot supporters said the term "monopoly" wasn't accurate because more than one producer would be involved. The court ruled its use fit with Webster's Dictionary's definition. Both sides of the legalization debate have hailed the court decision as a victory; the ballot now heads back to the state's ballot board for re-working. (More Ohio stories.)

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