Just Days Before Election Day, Polls Are Very Close For Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative

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It's only 9 days until the 2015 election in Ohio. Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Ohio, in a form that has not been seen before in marijuana politics. Parts of ResponsibleOhio's marijuana initiative have created a lot of outcry from voters and specifically reformers. From what I have seen on social media and blogs, there is more support for the initiative than ever before. That's certainly not to say that the initiative isn't without it's opposition from within the marijuana community, because there absolutely is. But it seems to be less prevalent than before, with many nationally known reformers expressing that they would ultimately vote for the initiative.

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But that growing level of support seems to not have translated to voters in Ohio. Two polls were recently released which found the initiative to be in a deadlock, with the difference between yes and no falling well within the margin of error. One of those polls was conducted by the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics University of Akron. The poll found out the following:

• Overall, pluralities of registered voters are supportive of Issue 2 (monopoly), 40 to 28 percent with 32 percent undecided.

• Overall, registered voters are evenly divided on Issue 3 (marijuana), 46 to 46 percent with 8 percent undecided.

• Nearly two-fifths of registered voters see Issue 3 (marijuana) as the most important measure on the 2015 ballot, followed by one-third who see local tax levies as the most important.

• Registered voters report receiving more positive information about Issue 3 (marijuana) than for Issue 1 (redistricting) or Issue 2 (monopoly).

Another poll released this week by Bowling Green State University found similar results. Per NBC:

The poll, conducted Friday and Saturday, surveyed more than 800 likely Ohio voters. It showed 44 percent supporting Issue Three and 43 percent opposing it. Thirteen percent are undecided. Since the margin of error is plus or minus three and a half percent, it's a dead heat.

Another poll found solid support for Issue 3 less than a couple of weeks ago. I think that one thing is for sure, which is basically always the case with marijuana initiatives - it's going to come down to turnout. The more people that turnout, the better the likelihood that the initiative will pass. With that being said, the same would likely be true for Issue 2, which would potentially nullify some of the provisions of the marijuana legalization initiative. All eyes will be on Ohio leading up to the November 3rd vote.

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