Cannabis legalization advocates in Ohio are again collecting signatures to put the legalization question to voters in November after state lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a citizen-authored initiative to enact the reforms, WCMH reports. The Ohio Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol needs to gather 124,046 signatures to get the issue on ballots, spokesman Tom Haren said.
“We’re building on an existing medical marijuana program that is popular, shown that it can be effective and provide safe, tested products to Ohio medical patients. This is a framework that works and will provide a quick alternative to an illicit market.” — Haren to WCMH
A Spectrum News/Siena College poll from September found 60% of Ohioans back the reforms with 37% opposed and 3% unsure.
The measure includes home grow provisions and imposes a 10% tax on cannabis products.
Under Ohio’s initiated statute process, once a campaign submits enough signatures, lawmakers have four months to pass the bill, or an amended version, and if they fail to do so, the campaign can collect the remaining signatures needed to put the issue to voters. The group submitted the petition language and the required signatures on January 28, but lawmakers never took up the legislation.
Haren told WCMH that cannabis legalization in Ohio could generate $400 million in revenue for the state.
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