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Secretary Husted: Issue 3 Language a Fair & Practical Description of a Lengthy and Complex Proposed Marijuana Amendment

September 11, 2015 - 1:10 PM

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Tuesday filed a merit brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in the lawsuit filed by ResponsibleOhio concerning the ballot title and language for State Issue 3. A copy of the brief filed with the court is below.

Merit Brief:

Throughout the filing, Secretary Husted defends the terms selected by his office and the Ohio Ballot Board to describe Issue 3.

“The words a voter reads on their ballot represent the final opportunity for them to understand the decision before them,” Secretary Husted said. “Being guided solely by the law, the dictionary and common sense, we determined that State Issue 3 would permit the use of marijuana in Ohio for recreational and medical purposes, while granting a monopoly to 10 pre-determined groups for the production of that marijuana. There is no easier way to explain that fact.”

It is also worth noting that six of Ohio’s major daily newspapers have used the term “monopoly” to describe State Issue 3 27 times in 15 different editorials. They’ve also used the words “cartel” and “oligopoly” to describe the initiative.

Secretary Husted also addressed the challenges the Ohio Ballot Board and his office faced in crafting the ballot language and title for this lengthy and complex issue.

“We have an obligation to provide a clear and concise summary of a proposed constitutional amendment that, at 6,600 words, is so large that it would account for 10 percent of the entire constitution should the voters approve it,” Secretary Husted added. “The wording that we used to describe this issue for the voters is honest, concise and fully meets the requirements set by Ohio’s constitution and laws.”

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