Ohio Attorney General Approves Marijuana Legalization Petition

The Ohio Attorney General has certified a petition for another proposed marijuana constitutional amendment. But this one would fully legalize recreational marijuana.

The “Marijuana Rights and Regulations Amendment” would allow Ohioans age 21 or older to possess, grow, use, sell and share marijuana in the state. It would also decriminalize marijuana under Ohio law.

“Marijuana should be treated and regulated the same or substantially the same as alcohol and tobacco,” says Ohio Families for Change spokesperson Jonathan Varner.

The petition language certified by Mike DeWine on Thursday would keep the state’s medical marijuana program in place. That program is set to go into operation in September, although it’s hit a few roadblocks.

The petition now goes to the bipartisan Ohio Ballot Board, led by Secretary of State Jon Husted, which must decide whether the measure contains one or multiple ballot issues.

Supporters would then need to gather at least 305,591 signatures of registered Ohio voters to put the issue on the ballot. Organizers are aiming for the 2019 ballot, rather than this November, which would require them meet a July deadline.

“2018 just isn’t really realistic,” Varner said. “That said, 2019 absolutely is.”

This was the second attempt by Ohio Families for Change to get its petition language certified, after DeWine rejected their last proposal for language issues.

Legalized marijuana has been proposed before, in 2015, but it was defeated by voters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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