Ohio Legalization Efforts Remain Uncertain
July 31st, 2015
Policy, Top News
ResponsibleOhio secured another 96,000 signatures after the state’s elections chief said they fell short by 29,509 of the 305,591 require signatures to qualify to be on the state’s ballot.
The advocacy group claimed that it had initially turned in more than 695,000 petition signatures, but state officials claimed far fewer signatures and found thousands were invalid. If the state doesn’t accept the latest round of signatures, the group says that it will challenge the evaluation of the signatures that were tossed out and/or not counted.
Secretary of State Jon Husted named a special investigator to review “significant disparities” in the petitions that they’ve received, while subpoenaing the campaign’s executive director, Ian James, and his consulting firm, The Strategy Network, for records to aid in the investigation, according to a report published by The Cannabist.
Ohio has long been considered a key battleground state for the legalization of marijuana, since it has thus far avoided any kind of legalization whatsoever. The proposed amendment would permit adults over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana for medical or recreational use and grow up to four plants for personal use. In addition, it would setup a network of 10 authorized growing locations around the state and create a regulatory framework and taxation scheme for cannabis – which has already attracted private investors.
In addition to the challenges faced by the Secretary of State, a separate amendment will seek to ban monopolies and cartels, which takes aim at the 10 marijuana growing sites described in the cannabis amendment. Experts believe that if both bills pass, the anti-monopoly bill will prevail.
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