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Government & Politics

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.