Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) last week reiterated his opposition to cannabis legalization in the state, telling editorial board members and reporters for Ogden News that with problems caused by other substances — such as driving under the influence — he thinks “it’s ridiculous to add an additional problem.”
DeWine added that he would not sign an adult-use legalization bill were one approved by lawmakers.
The governor said his two objections to cannabis legalization: that it would result in more children consuming infused edibles and that there would be more traffic accidents caused by people driving under the influence of cannabis.
DeWine did express support for potentially expanding the state’s medical cannabis program to allow patients with any medical problem access to the program as long as they have a physician’s recommendation.
The governor’s comments come as advocates in the state are campaigning to enact the reforms. Last week, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 29,918 new signatures after the state Secretary of State’s Office told them on January 3 that they were short 13,062 signatures in their initial filing.
In Ohio, if a ballot petition is successful, it first requires lawmakers to consider the proposed legislation and if the bill does not pass, the campaign can collect more signatures to put the issue to voters.
Tom Haren, a spokesman for the coalition, told the Sandusky Register that the group is “confident” they will meet the signature requirements and “look forward to the legislature taking up an issue that a majority of Ohioans support this year.”
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