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Proposal To Legalize Marijuana In Ohio Clears Another Hurdle

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone

A proposal to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in Ohio has gotten approval from the panel that controls what goes on the statewide ballot. That means the plan’s backers can start what may be a two-step process.

The Ohio Ballot Board, a panel of legislative appointees led by Secretary of State Frank LaRose, gave the green light for the marijuana plan’s backersto start gathering 132,887 signatures to put a proposed state law before lawmakers.

If the issue is brought before Ohio's lawmakers, they have four months to pass it as is. If they don’t, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, or CRMLA, can gather another 132,887 signatures to take it to the November 2022 ballot.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost had initially rejected their language, but approved it on the second submission.

The group had put forward its proposal last year as a potential constitutional amendment, which has double the signature requirement.

The last issue to legalize marijuana in Ohio failed in 2015.

But the group said it feels this plan to set rules for growing, manufacturing, testing, selling and taxing of marijuana for adults over 21 will bring what it calls a safe, legal and highly regulated cannabis market to Ohio.

Two Democratic state lawmakers have also proposed legislation to legalize marijuana.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.