Vote to Ban Monopolies Could Nix Pot Issue

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio voters will decide this fall whether to prevent monopolies from being inserted into the state constitution. It’s a question that could immediately scuttle marijuana legalization in the state.

The Legislature voted to put Issue 2 on the Nov. 3 ballot. Backers hope to revise Ohio’s constitution to bar amendments that deliver commercial economic benefits to individuals or monopolies. That language aims to outlaw the system of 10 authorized marijuana-growing sites established in the legalization proposal also on the ballot.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has said if both issues pass, the anti-monopoly issue will take effect before marijuana legalization and cancel it out. Ohio’s constitution says the top vote-getter prevails in such cases, so if legalization gets the most votes a legal fight is expected.