Latest News

Ballot board certifies recreational marijuana legalization as one issue

Written on Sep 3, 2021

Provided by Hannah News Service

In a short meeting Monday, the Ohio Ballot Board unanimously approved a proposed initiated statute that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use with no discussion.

Attorney Don McTigue was the lone witness to appear before the panel, saying the proposed law fits the case law for issues to be certified as a singular measure because all of the provisions in the proposal relate in one way or another to the authorization, regulation, and control of adult use of cannabis.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose asked McTigue about a component for the taxation of cannabis products. McTigue said that would fall under the provisions giving the state regulatory power over the sale of cannabis.

With no further questions, LaRose moved the proposal as containing one issue, and it was approved.

Backers of the proposal must now collect at least 132,887 valid signatures, with those signatures coming from voters in at least 44 of the 88 counties, equaling or exceeding 1.5 percent of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in each of those 44 counties. The petition must be filed with the secretary of state not less than 10 days prior to the commencement of any session of the Ohio General Assembly.

If the General Assembly does not take action on the petition within four months, backers could collect another 132,887 signatures to put it before voters.

The group behind the measure -- the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol -- said it is aiming to put the issue before voters on the November 2022 ballot.

“We’re happy with today’s outcome and believe the ballot board made the right call on this one,” said the group's spokesman Tom Haren. “We look forward to beginning the signature collection process and working with our state legislators to create a safe, legal, and highly regulated cannabis market in Ohio.”

He said state lawmakers could act now.

“Ohioans overwhelmingly support cannabis legalization, and we’re ready to work with legislators to end prohibition today.”

Story originally published in The Hannah Report on August 30, 2021.