Ohio’s Attorney General has rejected the petition for a cannabis legalization ballot initiative due to invalid signatures, WOIO reports. The petition was received by the office last week but only 271 of the 1,248 signatures included were valid. In order for the initiative process to proceed, petitioners needed 1,000 valid signatures.
Because the petition failed to meet the signature threshold, Attorney General Dave Yost said he did not make “any determination concerning the fairness and truthfulness of the proposed summary,” which would have been required had the petition been valid.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment initiative was backed by a medical cannabis patient, a mother of twins with autism – a condition not covered under the state’s limited medical program – Pure Ohio Wellness, a licensed cannabis business, and an Akron-based cannabis cultivator. It was not supported by the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association.
Tom Haren, an attorney representing the campaign, said earlier this month that patients have a hard time participating in the state’s medical cannabis program and that issue served as a catalyst for the petition drive.
Earlier this month Yost had rejected the wording of the petition, saying it failed to include “findings and declarations,” according to the Dayton Daily News. That denial forced the campaign to collect another 1,000 signatures and resubmit their petition.
Ohio voters in 2015 rejected a cannabis legalization proposal largely because it only designated 10 investor-owned cultivation areas throughout the state.
The deadline to get a proposal on 2020 general election ballots in Ohio is July 1.