Potential recreational cannabis ballot measure in Ohio hits snag

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One of two campaigns that may wind up competing for votes in an upcoming Ohio election has run into a procedural problem with the state’s electoral bureaucracy.

The campaign – spearheaded by Ohio Families for Change – is attempting to put a ballot measure before voters to legalize recreational cannabis.

But the state attorney general rejected the measure for not having an accurate summary of the legal impacts, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

The organization considers itself a direct competitor to backers of the failed 2015 legalization measure by ResponsibleOhio, whose authors have also been talking publicly about making another run at the ballot this year.

Critics of ResponsibleOhio argued in 2015 that the measure was arranged to create an oligopoly that would reward millionaire campaign donors, as opposed to establishing a more free-market cannabis industry. A similar concern is a driving force for Ohio Families for Change.

“We’re not giving up this campaign,” a spokesman for Ohio Families told the newspaper.

“Because if we do, we’re giving it to ResponsibleOhio, and we don’t have any faith they’ll do anything for anyone other than themselves.”

Ohio Families intends to correct the mistakes that led to the attorney general’s rejection and then resubmit its ballot measure petition.

But without substantial financial backing, the campaign faces long odds to make the 2018 ballot.