A proposal to legalize adult-use Cannabis in Ohio appears headed to the state Legislature after proponents got the backing of more than 200,000 voters, reports The Columbus Dispatch.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 206,943 signatures to Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Monday. The group is now waiting for county Boards of Elections to verify those signatures.
The bill would allow adults to buy and possess marijuana. The group drafted its measure earlier this year and began collecting the required 132,887 signatures in August.
It’s a crucial step in its process to get state lawmakers to review potential legislation seeking to legalize adult-use marijuana in the state, reports WCPO Cincinnati.
“It’s really the first step to get our proposal in front of the General Assembly,” said Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition. “The General Assembly will have four months to enact our proposal, which we are confident will happen. We think it’s the right thing to do.”
“The success of our petition drive shows just how eager Ohioans are to end prohibition and legalize the adult use of marijuana,” Haren said. “We look forward to receiving the results of the Secretary of State’s review, and are eager to begin working with legislators on this important issue.”
This Isn’t Like 2015
The process differs from the 2015 legalization effort, when voters rejected a constitutional amendment.
That measure, pushed by ResponsibleOhio, would have paved the way for adult marijuana use. Unfortunately, it would also have granted a cultivation monopoly to those who drafted the measure.
Seriously, the ResponsibleOhio thing would have let six dudes who bankrolled the effort run all growing in the state.
‘Ohio Is Behind The Curve’
“Eighteen states have already legalized cannabis for adult use, including our neighbor to the north,” campaign spokesman Tom Haren said. “Ohio is behind the curve on this issue and can’t afford continued inaction.”
Once the signatures are verified, lawmakers have four months to act. If they don’t pass the bill or at least pass an amended version, supporters can collect another 132,887 valid signatures.
That would put the measure on the ballot for the next general election. The measure would appear on the November 2022 midterm election ballot.
2.5 Ounces; 6 Plants Per Adult; 12 Plants Per Household
The proposed law would allow Ohioans age 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrates. They could also grow up to six plants, with no more than 12 in a household with multiple adults.
Cannabis products are taxed 10% under the proposed law. That revenue would go toward administrative costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities with dispensaries and a social equity and jobs program.