Ohio Advocates Submit Additional Signatures After Initial Denial

Ohio advocates submitted nearly 30,000 new signatures in an attempt to make state lawmakers consider cannabis legalization after falling short of the required signature total earlier this month.

Full story after the jump.

Cannabis legalization advocates in Ohio have submitted nearly 30,000 additional signatures to state officials on Thursday hoping to close the 13,000-signature gap in their petition filed earlier this month, Cleveland.com reports. In all, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 29,918 after the state Secretary of State’s Office told them on January 3 that they were short 13,062 signatures in their initial filing.

Ohio law requires 132,887 valid signatures for initiatives but only 119,825 of the group’s original 206,943 submitted signatures were valid. The petition would not directly put the issue to voters but would force lawmakers to act on the proposed legalization bill in four months or an amended version and if they don’t, the coalition can collect another 132,887 valid signatures to put the measure on this year’s midterm election ballots.

The petition seeks to allow adults 21-and-older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants per person, up to 12 plants per household.

In a statement, Tom Haren, the coalition’s spokesman, said the group is “confident” that the newly submitted signatures will meet Ohio’s requirements.

In October, Republican state Rep. Jamie Callender introduced adult-use legislation that mirrors the campaign’s proposal but has acknowledged that leaders in his party don’t support his proposal. The coalition has indicated that it would prefer the legislature to act on a bill based on its proposal.

Under the coalition’s proposal, cannabis sales would be taxed at 10% with 36% of the revenue earmarked for social equity and jobs programs, 36% for municipalities that allow adult-use cannabis operations, 25% for education and substance abuse programs, while 3% would be used for the administrative costs of implementing the system.

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