Ohio Legalization Campaign Submits Signatures Needed to Force Vote

Cannabis legalization advocates in Ohio have collected enough signatures to make lawmakers consider the proposed reforms, which include cannabis possession and personal cultivation.

Full story after the jump.

Cannabis legalization advocates in Ohio on Monday submitted 206,943 signatures to the secretary of state in their bid to force lawmakers to pass the reforms in the Buckeye State, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Once the signatures are verified, the Legislature will have four months to act on the legislation and if they don’t pass the bill, or an amended version, the campaign must collect another 132,887 valid signatures to put the measure on ballots in the next general election.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol proposal would allow adults 21-and-older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates and cultivate up to six plants individually or 12 per household. Cannabis products would be taxed 10% with revenues earmarked for program costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities that allow dispensaries, and social equity and jobs programs.

Tom Haren, the campaign spokesman, noted that 18 states have legalized cannabis for adults, including Ohio’s northern neighbor Michigan.

“Ohio is behind the curve on this issue and can’t afford continued inaction.” – Haren to the Dispatch

Last week, the state Senate approved a bill to expand the state’s medical cannabis program, including letting doctors make program recommendations for any patient, regardless of condition; increasing the number of dispensary licenses; establishing a new cannabis division within the Commerce Department to more efficiently regulate medical cannabis; and award cultivation licenses to businesses that were rejected in the first licensing round, including two companies that sued the state over the denials. The legislation still needs House approval.

The cannabis legalization signatures still require verification by Secretary of State Frank LaRose before lawmakers are required to act.

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