With Election Day 2015 now behind us, here’s how some of the key races around the country played out.
No legal weed for Ohio
In Ohio, voters rejected Issue 3, a proposal that would have legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana. The ballot measure was unique in that it wasn’t just legalization that was controversial, but the manner in which legalization in the state would take shape. Had it passed, Issue 3 would have given a handful of people — namely the proposition’s rich backers, like former 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey, fashion designer Nanette Lepore and two descents of President William Howard Taft — the exclusive rights to cultivate commercial cannabis in the state.
The idea of a monopoly on marijuana appeared to turn many voters off; they overwhelmingly rejected the measure, 64 percent to 36, while narrowly approving Issue 2, an anti-monopoly amendment that explicitly banned the “initiative process from being used for personal economic benefit.”
Lobbying for the proposition, Lachey had emphasized the jobs it would create and the money it would bring to his home state. Presidential hopeful and Ohio Gov. John Kasich scoffed at that idea during a recent primary debate. “We’re running a $2 billion surplus, we’re not having a revenue problem right now. And sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster,” Kasich said.
Legalization groups were split on the issue — the Marijuana Policy Project and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws issued reluctant endorsements, while the Drug Policy Alliance refused to endorse because of the monopoly issue.
John Pardee, vice president of the Ohio Rights Group, a legalization organization that originally opposed and later voted to support Issue 3, summed up his feelings in a note to volunteers and supporters: “I’m more excited for the future of Ohio cannabis reform than I’ve been in a long while. We have to stick together if we are going to succeed so I suggest that any future draft amendments needs the buy-in of all of you good people before it hits the streets.”
San Franciscans reject anti-Airbnb measure
In San Francisco, voters rejected Proposition F, a ballot measure that would have restricted short-term rentals in the city to 75 days a year or fewer, 55 percent to 45 percent.
It was an outcome ShareBetterSF, the group that bankrolled the effort, was prepared for. In an interview a few days prior to the election, spokesperson Dale Carlson said if the group lost, “We’ll try again next year. The history of progressive politics in this town is: you put something on the ballot the first time and you lose. You may have to do it again and again and again before you prevail.”