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Marijuana Legalization Proposal Rejected By Ohio Attorney General

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone

Ohio’s Attorney General has rejected language for a proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana on the fall ballot. The move is not unusual, but it does add an additional hurdle for organizers.

Backers of the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” amendment say their proposal, if approved by voters, would allow anyone over 21 to buy, possess and consume marijuana like they do beer, wine or liquor. The amendment would also allow residents to grow up to six marijuana plants.

They argue that tight controls on the state’s existing medical marijuana program prevent people who say they want the product for a medical condition from getting it. Those dispensaries began opening in January 2019.

But Attorney General Dave Yost says the proposed language makes statements that are not backed up, and that it fails to note this amendment would be written into the constitution.

Backers must make changes to the amendment and resubmit it to the Attorney General.

That’s not unusual, but organizers only have until July to get the language approved and gather more than 440,000 valid signatures.

In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot issue to legalize marijuana.

Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in 11 states.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.