The Ohio Ballot Board has officially certified the Marijuana Rights and RegulationsAct, 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.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has officially certified the ballot language for a proposed initiative that would legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older.
The petition language for the Marijuana Rights and Regulations act was certified as being “fair and truthful” by AG DeWine. This is the first step towards the proposal being put to a vote of the people.
The measure now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will determine if the measure constitutes one, or multiple ballot questions. Once approved by the Board, proponents of the measure will need to collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio votes to put initiative on the November, 2019 general election ballot (they have the opportunity to put the measure on this November’s ballot, but it would require the incredibly tall feat of collecting all the signatures by July 4).
While marijuana reform efforts continue at an excruciatingly slow pace in state legislatures — Vermont became the first state to free the weed at the statehouse just last month — the initiative and referendum process continues to serve as a direct popular vote alternative to the crap shoot that is trying to get a pot bill through two houses and signed by a governor.
There are at least six states with a serious shot at legalizing either recreational marijuana or medical marijuana via the initiative process this year. In one state, a medical marijuana initiative has already qualified for the ballot; in another, plentiful signatures have already been handed in for a legalization initiative; in three others, signature gathering campaigns are well underway; while in the last, a legalization initiative hasn’t been officially filed yet, but already has serious financial backing.
By the time we get past election day, we should be looking at a legalization victory in at least one more state and medical marijuana victories damned near anywhere an initiative manages to get on the ballot. In the last election cycle, marijuana reform initiatives won in eight out of nine contests.
Here are the 2018 contenders:
1. Michigan — Legalization
The Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already completed a petition campaign and handed in more than 365,000 raw signatures in November for its legalization initiative. It hasn’t officially qualified for the ballot yet, but it only needs 250,000 valid voter signatures to do so, meaning it has a rather substantial cushion. If the measure makes the ballot, it should win. There is the little matter of actually campaigning to pass the initiative, which should require a million or two dollars for TV ad buys and other get-out-the-vote efforts, but with the Marijuana Policy Project on board and some deep-pocketed local interests as well, the money should be there. The voters already are there: Polling has shown majority support for legalization for several years now, always trending up, and most recently hitting 58% in a May Marketing Resource Group poll.
2. Missouri — Medical
New Approach Missouri’s Right to Medical Marijuana initiative would legalize the use of medical marijuana for specified medical conditions and create a system of taxed and regulated medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales. The campaign is well into its signature gathering phase and reported this week that it already has 175,000 raw signatures. It only needs 160,000 verified valid voter signatures, but has set a goal of 280,000 raw signatures to provide a comfortable cushion. Signature gathering doesn’t end until May 6. There is no recent state polling on the issue, but medical marijuana typically polls above 80% nationally.
3. New Mexico — Legalization
The Land of Enchantment has a unique path to a popular vote on marijuana legalization: A measure before the legislature, Senate Joint Resolution 4, would, if approved, take the issue directly to the voters in November. New Mexicans would vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize weed, and if they approved it, the legislature would meet next year to promulgate rules and regulations. The measure passed one Senate committee on Friday, but still faces another Senate committee vote, a Senate floor vote, and action in the House, and the clock is ticking. Supporters have only about two weeks to move this bill before the session ends. If it can get before the voters, it could win: A poll last week had support at 61%.
4. Ohio — Legalization
Responsible Ohio tried to legalize marijuana in 2015 via a “pay to play” initiative that would have created a growers’ oligopoly limited to cash-heavy early supporters who financed the entire campaign. Ohio voters didn’t buy that, so some of the players are back again with what they’re calling the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment. It hasn’t been officially filed yet, but would reportedly have a “free market” approach to a system of taxed and regulated cultivation, distribution, and sales, and it would allow for personal cultivation. Organizers say they have $3 million already for signature gathering and campaigning. They will need 305,592 valid voter signatures and they have a goal of July 4 for getting them.
5. Oklahoma — Medical
The Oklahoma medical marijuana initiative, State Question 788, has already qualified for the ballot and will go before the voters during the June 26 primary election. The initiative legalizes the use, cultivation, and distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients. A January Sooner poll had support at 62%, a fairly low level of support for medical marijuana, which typically polls above 80% nationwide. But this is Oklahoma.
6. Utah — Medical
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. It limits the numbers of dispensaries and growers, and patients could only grow their own if they reside more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary. Patients could not smoke their medicine, but they could vaporize it. The Utah Patients Coalition is currently in the midst of its signature gathering campaign. It needs 113,000 verified voter signatures by April 15, and it has the money in the bank, including $100,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project, to get it done. A series of polls last year had support levels ranging from 69% to 78%.
Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?
Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).
Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Ohio have announced a new initiative that would do just that.
Advocates of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment are attempting to put their measure to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 general election. The initiative, described by supporters as a “free market” approach, would allow anyone 21 and older to possess and use marijuana and hemp, while establishing a system of licensed retail outlets and cultivation centers. Home cultivation for personal use would also be allowed.
“If you can own a bar, or make beer, wine or spirits, you will be able to own a marijuana dispensary, processor or cultivation,” says initiative supporters, who need to collect 305,592 signatures from registered voters in order to place the issue on next year’s ballot.
It’s Tuesday, November 3rd (EST), meaning it’s election day, and in Ohio, voters will have the opportunity to make their state the fifth to legalize recreational cannabis. Unless the votes are incredibly close (which is definitely possible), we should know the fate of Issue 3 sometime after polls close at 8PM.
If approved into law by voters, Issue 3 will legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for everyone 21 and older, or up to eight ounces for those who receive a license from the state. Those with a license will also be able to cultivate an unlimited number of sprouting cannabis plants, and up to four flowering plants.
The Ohio cannabis legalization initiativeIssue 3 will be voted on in just two days, on Tuesday, November 3rd. The proposal would legalize the possession, private cultivate and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for those 21 and older.
If passed into law, Ohio would become the fifth state in the U.S. to have legal recreational cannabis. A recent Akron Buckeye Poll shows support for the initiative at a complete tie, with 46% of Ohio voters in support of the measure, and 46% against, with the remaining 8% undecided. A poll released earlier this month by Quinnipiac University found 53% of Ohio voters to be in support of legalizing cannabis, though that poll didn’t question voters specifically on Issue 3.
Ohio Issue 3, which would legalize the possession, cultivation and distribution of recreational cannabis, will be voted on in just eight days, on November 3rd, and polling has it in a tight race.
Although the official general election ballot occurs on November 3rd, early voting has been underway for quite some time. A new Akron Buckeye Poll shows Issue 3 in a dead heat, with 46% of Ohio voters in support of the measure, and 46% against, with the remaining 8% undecided. A poll released earlier this month by Quinnipiac University found a similar percentage of opposition – 44% – though that poll found 53% to be in support.
In Ohio, early voting is already underway for Issue 3, a controversial initiative to legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older, which is on the November 8th general election ballot. The “controversial” portion of the initiative isn’t that it would legalize cannabis, it’s how it would do it, establishing what many are calling a monopoly on retail cannabis cultivation. Despite this aspect of the measure, which we agree is an issue that should be addressed by state lawmakers if the initiative passes, the massively positive changes the proposal would make to the state’s cannabis laws make it far worth a “Yes” vote.
Similar to legalization laws passed in Colorado, Washington and Alaska, Ohio’s initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and purchase it from a state-licensed retail outlet. Unlike those three states, Ohio’s proposal would allow adults to purchase a license ($50) from a newly-created Ohio Marijuana Control Commission allowing them to possess up to eight ounces, and cultivate an unlimited number of sprouting cannabis plants, with up to four allowed to be in the flowering stage.
In just days, on November 3rd, voters in Ohio voters will decide the fate of Issue 3, which would legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older (some have already voted through the state’s early voting process). If passed into law, Ohio would become the 5th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational cannabis in just a three year period (from November, 2012 to November, 2015), marking 10% of the entire nation.
Issue 3 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, while also legalizing the distribution of cannabis through state-licensed cannabis retail outlets. The cultivation of up to four flowering cannabis plants would also be allowed for those who receive a $50 license from the Ohio Marijuana Control Commission (those who receive a license would be allowed to possess up to eight ounces, rather than the standard one).