Marijuana legalization amendment will appear on fall ballot in Ohio

Ohio's Secretary of State John Husted officially certified the signatures submitted by ResponsibleOhio on Wednesday, securing a place for a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana on Ohio's fall ballot. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the group has collected 320,267 signatures, 14,676 more than they needed to get the measure to the ballot. Husted had previously found that they had not submitted an adequate number of valid signatures, but the group collected enough during a grace period to guarantee that the proposed amendment will come to a vote.

According to the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the amendment would allow adults age 21 and over to grow, buy and possess limited amounts of marijuana. It would limit commercial marijuana growth to ten designated sites. This restriction has drawn criticism from both anti-drug activists and marijuana advocates as enshrining a monopoly in the Ohio constitution for the owners of these sites. In response, the Ohio legislature has put forth a proposed amendment which would prohibit granting a monopoly in the constitution.

The marijuana amendment will appear as Issue 3, and the anti-monopoly amendment is Issue 2. If Issue 2 is passed, it will invalidate the marijuana amendment, even if voters approve it. Ohio voters will have the opportunity to have their say on both of these measures on November 3.

Photo credit: Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.