Ohio recreational marijuana campaign clears signature hurdle

A campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio has succeeded in getting its proposal sent to the Legislature, the next step before a ballot question goes to the voters in November.

According to a news release from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), the campaign was informed Friday by the secretary of state that it had cleared the threshold for the necessary signatures to force lawmakers to consider its amendment to the state constitution to legalize adult-use sales.

On an initial attempt, the CRMLA failed to get enough signatures, despite submitting 206,943.

But the campaign had a second opportunity to obtain the requisite valid signatures and succeeded after gathering an additional 29,918 signatures.

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Next comes a four-month process in which state lawmakers will have the opportunity to enact CRMLA’s proposal, vote it down or ignore it entirely.

If the Legislature doesn’t approve the measure, then the CRMLA will have to collect yet another 132,877 voter signatures in order to get recreational marijuana legalization onto the November general election ballot.

And the campaign is “fully prepared to do” just that, CRMLA Director Tom Haren said in the release.