Ohio Cannabis Campaign to Fight Ballot Measure Wording

Unhappy with how Ohio officials decided to word its initiative on the November ballot, the group pushing to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis there says it’ll take its fight to the state Supreme Court.

And it has hired a big gun to make its case: Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas.

Douglas, now legal counsel for the cannabis campaign ResponsibleOhio, blasted the Ohio Ballot Board’s wording of the campaign’s amendment as “clearly biased,” saying that it “gives preference to the arguments of marijuana reform opponents.”

Douglas added that he’ll be appealing to the state Supreme Court to try to force the board to adopt “ballot language that better reflects our proposal.”

The Ohio Ballot Board released the wording on Tuesday and announced that the measure will be formally known as Issue 3.

In a written argument, Douglas blasted the board for problems with seven out of the eight bullet-point summaries contained in the ballot language. He took issue with everything from the board’s characterization of grow rights to its use of the word “recreational” instead of “personal use.”

“The language falsely states that the amendment gives exclusive rights for marijuana growth, cultivation and extraction to corporations that own 10 predetermined parcels of land,” Douglas wrote. “The amendment actually provides that the Ohio Marijuana Control Commission may designate additional sites.”

Douglas also pointed out that the amendment allows for home cultivation.

He also noted that the ballot language states that there is no prohibition on location of marijuana businesses, when in actuality, the amendment forbids cannabis businesses from being located within 1,000 feet of any school, library, daycare center, playground or church.