The US state of Ohio has rejected the legalisation of cannabis by a significant margin.
Almost two thirds of voters opposed a measure to decriminalise the drug – only 35 per cent voted in favour.
The Governor of Ohio John Kasich praised the outcome as one which would protect families and communities.
The proposal, from celebrities and cannabis campaigners, would have legalised recreational and medical use of the drug in one move.
It would have amended the Ohio state constitution to license retailers and allow adults over the age of 21 to grow up to 8oz of cannabis for personal use.
The measure would also have allowed adults over 21 to purchase and possess up to 1oz of the drug.
Families ‘torn apart
John Kasich, who is running as a Republican presidential candidate, welcomed the vote against legalisation.
Ohioans said no to easy access to drugs and instead chose a path that helps strengthen our families and communitiesOhio Governor,John Kasich
He said: “At a time when too many families are being torn apart by drug abuse, Ohioans said no to easy access to drugs and instead chose a path that helps strengthen our families and communities”.
Cannabis has been legalised for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon and seven other states are expected to vote on the issue next year.
In September last year, a call for global decriminalisation for people who take drugs was dismissed as “deeply flawed” and a “major step back”.
In a report, the Global Commission on Drug Policy pushed for countries to: “Stop criminalizing people for drug use and possession”.
It also called for a United Nations General Assembly session on drugs, set to take place in 2016, to “reform the global drug policy regime”.
But speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme, drug misuse expert Neil McKeganey said the idea would “dismantle the entire criminal justice framework” of countries worldwide.