Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use

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No Pot for Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- In a single stroke, Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal Tuesday to legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use.

Failure of the proposed state constitutional amendment followed an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording and an investigation into the proposal's petition signatures.

SEE MORE: Where the presidential candidates stand on legalizing marijuana

The measure known as Issue 3 ballot would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, purchase or grow certain amounts of marijuana. The constitutional amendment would have established a regulatory and taxation scheme while creating a network of 10 growing facilities. That feature was a target of opponents as well as a separate ballot question aimed at preventing monopolies from being inserted into Ohio's constitution for the economic benefits of a few.

The pro-legalization ResponsibleOhio campaign spent at least $12 million on ads. But it faced opposition from a well-organized, diverse coalition of opponents that includes children's hospitals, business organizations and farmers.

See more images of the controversial measure:

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Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use
Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, a pro-marijuana legalization group, speaks to the crowd at an election night event at the Le Meridien hotel, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Voters have rejected a ballot measure that would have made Ohio the first state to make marijuana legal for both recreational and medical use in a single stroke. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A voter in a tie-dye T-shirt votes at the Schiller Recreation Center polling station on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Eligible Ohioans headed to the polls Tuesday, to decide whether to make marijuana legal for both recreational and medical use. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A voter places his ballot in a bag to be counted at a polling station at The Ohio State University student union, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio voters headed to the polls today to decide whether to allow marijuana to be grown, processed and consumed within the state's borders. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, stands in front of an opposition voter's chalk lettering that reads "monopoly" at the Ohio State University oval on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio voters headed to the polls today to decide whether to allow marijuana to be grown, processed and consumed within the state's borders. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Michael McGovern, a representative from ResponsibleOhio, a pro-marijuana legalization group, wears a sticker during a promotional tour stop at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
College students collect lawn signs at a promotional tour bus from ResponsibleOhio, a pro-marijuana legalization group, at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, poses for photos with passing college students at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A volunteer for ResponsibleOhio, a pro-marijuana legalization group, holds a clipboard during a promotional tour stop at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, holds a sign during a promotional tour stop at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
College students collect lawn signs and shirts at a promotional tour bus from ResponsibleOhio, a pro-marijuana legalization group, at Miami University, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. A ballot proposal before Ohio voters this fall would be the first in the Midwest to take marijuana use and sales from illegal to legal for both personal and medical use in a single vote. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Critics said the proposal's arrangement would amount to an economic monopoly designed for personal gain.

SEE MORE: The dark side of pot you don't always hear about

Turnout was low as early presidential politicking largely overshadowed campaigns and exacerbated voter disinterest that generally accompanies an off-year election.

At an elementary school in the northern Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, Beth Zielenski, said she voted no on the marijuana question. The mother of one from West Chester cited concerns about how marijuana and edible pot products would be regulated.

Timothy Shearer, 47, said he voted for the initiative. "I don't think it will cause more problems," he said.

Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, along with the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana.


See more special coverage on marijuana:
The dark side of pot you don't always hear about
Where the presidential candidates stand on legalizing marijuana
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