Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Ohio was long considered a swing or bellwether state, though the state has started trending quite "red" with Donald Trump and state GOP candidates carrying the state by significant margins in recent years. This recent "red" trend would seem to make the Buckeye State's vote today on marijuana legalization especially significant. Specifically, as of this writing just before midnight, a marijuana legalization initiative, Issue 2, has secured a nearly 13% point victory with 93% of the votes reported. As detailed in this NY Times accounting, Yes on Issue 2 has garnered 56.5% of the Ohio vote, even a higher percentage that the abortion rights initiative also on the Ohio 2023 ballot (which still is passing handily at 55.8%)
Marijuana legalization initiatives had recently been a losing proposition in deep red states like Arkansas and Oklahoma and North Dakota and South Dakota. But light red Missouri legalized marijuana by initiative in 2022, and Ohio tonight follow the same path despite the fact that nearly all the state's GOP leaders advocated against the marijuana legalization initiative.
For many reasons, I will be quite interested to see how Ohio moves forward with implementation of its legalization initiative.