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Legal marijuana backers aren't giving up on November ballot effort

A person signs a petition to put on November ballot a plan to make marijuana use legal for adults 21 and over in Ohio
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
A person signs a petition to create a November ballot issue asking voters to approve a plan to make recreational marijuana use legal for adults 21 and over in Ohio.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office announced Tuesday that backers of a proposed law legalizing marijuana for Ohioans 21 and older didn’t get enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Backers of the proposal said they are not giving up.

Tom Haren of the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said his group plans to use the ten-day cure period allowed by law to get more signatures to quality.

“The good news is we have ten days to gather just another 679 signatures, so we think that is a very doable task," Haren said.

Haren said the issue is popular with voters. It met the signature requirement in 49 counties, more than the required 44. Haren said he thinks the group will have no trouble collecting the remaining signatures needed to get the initiated statute certified for the November ballot.

If the issue makes it on the November ballot, it would only need to pass by a simple majority of 50% plus one because it is an initiated statute, not a constitutional change. If it passes in November, it would become law.

But as with other laws on the books, the Ohio Legislature could make changes after it is passed. That's why many groups elect to seek constitutional amendments instead of initiated statutes.

Ohio voters will decide on August 8 whether to require a 60% threshold for passage of future constitutional amendments, including an abortion rights amendment that has been certified for the November ballot. State Issue 1, in addition to the 60% threshold, would require a minimum amount of signatures on petitions in all 88 counties. Currently, signatures from 44 counties are needed. Issue 1 would also do eliminate the 10-day cure period.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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