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James St. John

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has certified that the language for a proposed recreational cannabis ballot initiative is “fair and truthful” – the first step toward putting the issue on the ballot, according to a report. The proposal moves next to the Ohio Ballot Board which will determine whether the measure is one or several ballot issues. If approved by the board, advocates would need to collect 305,591 valid signatures to put the issue to voters.

The proposal, which would amend the state constitution, is sponsored by Ohio Families for Change. DeWine had rejected the group’s initial proposal because the petition summary didn’t match the proposal language.

The organization had aimed to put the issue to voters this November, according to Ohio Families for Change spokesman Jonathan Varner, but likely won’t meet the July 4 deadline and will instead focus on the November 2019 election.

“This is unfortunate, because people are being arrested daily for activity that simply shouldn’t be criminal, only to support a black-market system. We’re confident that when voters have the opportunity to vote on this issue, they will overwhelmingly approve it.” – Varner to

In 2015, Ohio voters rejected a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for adults. That measure was opposed by many activists because it would have given campaign investors a monopoly on sales.

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