COLUMBUS, Ohio – A petition for a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in the state of Ohio was certified by the Attorney General’s Office on Thursday, May 10.
According to the Attorney General’s office, on April 30, the office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled “Marijuana Rights and Regulations” from legal counsel for the petitioning committee. The initial submission was rejected on April 9 due to discrepancies in the petition summary versus the actual text. The resubmitted petition was certified on Thursday as containing both the necessary 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment.
“Without passing upon the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred, but pursuant to the duties imposed upon the Attorney General’s Office, I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in the certification letter.
According to the petition text, the proposed amendment would give citizens of Ohio who are over the age of 21 the right to possess, grow, process, use, transport, sell, purchase and share marijuana in Ohio.
It would give the General Assembly authority to create laws concerning impairment that are similar for alcohol and laws concerning public use that are similar to tobacco.
The proposed amendment would protect landlords from tenant marijuana cultivation and processing and would allow employers to continue to maintain drug-free workplaces that exclude marijuana.
Municipal and township governments would be able to create ordinances and resolutions that may limit marijuana cultivation and processing for personal use and would give the state government authority to regulate marijuana commerce through the license of the marijuana business.
Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.
According to reports, it is unlikely for the petition to meet the signature requirements by the deadline for the November General Election, but may be brought up again in 2019.