© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Issue 3 Backers Spent $21 Million on the Failed Marijuana Campaign

ResponsibleOhio spent $21.5 million to try to convince voters to approve the amendment.
BRETT LEVIN
/
FLICKR

The backers of last month’s marijuana legalization issue spent a lot of money on a campaign that voters overwhelmingly rejected. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Paperwork filed with the Secretary of State shows ResponsibleOhio spent $21.5 million to try to convince voters to approve the investor-backed plan for medical and recreational marijuana to be grown at 10 official sites throughout the state. Nearly all of that money came from those investors. 

Around half went to TV ad time, around $3 million went to direct mail. Another $5.4 million went to Ian James, the Columbus-based consultant who helped create the amendment and ran the Issue 3 campaign.

Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies was the main opposition group. It raised about $2.2 million and spent nearly all of that on a single TV ad.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.