The Ohio Ballot Board has officially certified the Marijuana Rights and Regulations Act, giving proponents the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures.
The Ballot Board’s approval of the initiative comes roughly a week after Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the initiative’s language as being “fair and truthful”. Advocates of the measure must now collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters in order to put it to a vote of the people. If the signatures are collected by July 4 of this year (unlikely), the initiative will be voted on this November. If they are collected prior to July, 2019, it will be placed on the November, 2019 general election ballot.
If placed on either ballot and voted into law, the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for personal use would become legal for those 21 and older, without the state’s medical marijuana law being effected. The intiaitve establishes a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets, allowed to sell marijuana and marijuana products.
A legalization initiative was rejected by Ohio voters in 2015, but largely because of initiative’s badly written language (such as establishing a monopoly on marijuana businesses among those who donated to the effort), and not because they don’t support ending marijuana prohibition.