Ohio adult-use marijuana advocates submit signatures for ballot measure

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Adult-use marijuana legalization in Ohio could be on the state ballot in November after advocates submitted signatures supporting the initiative to election officials on Wednesday.

Officials must verify the 222,198 signatures collected by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol by July 20, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio lawmakers passed legislation in 2016 legalizing medical cannabis, and sales began in January 2019.

Advocates launched the adult-use signature campaign in May.

“We have to make sure that we’re doing right by patients while at the same time providing an alternative to those nonmedical consumers who are looking for an alternative to the illicit market or driving to Michigan or bringing marijuana back from Chicago or Colorado,” the group’s spokesperson, Tom Haren, told the newspaper.

A poll by Spectrum News and Siena College last year revealed that roughly 60% of Ohioans support adult-use legalization.

If passed, the constitutional amendment would:

  • Allow Ohioans 21 or older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrates.
  • Permit adults to grow up to six plants per person or 12 per household.
  • Tax adult-use products at a 10% rate.
  • Create social equity retail and cultivation licenses for entrepreneurs who were disproportionately impacted by prohibition.

In May, adult-use marijuana legislation was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The measure is not likely to pass, according to the Dispatch, so the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s proposed ballot measure is the path most likely to succeed.

“We’re ready to end the prohibition and let Ohioans responsibly use marijuana just like people in half of the country already do,” Haren said in a news release.

“It’s just common sense.”