Ohio Could Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in November

Last week, the Ohio Attorney General Office received a petition in support of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment, including a thousand signatures from the public, as required by law.

US flag flying next to the Ohio state flag Source: iStock

This November, recreational cannabis could be on the ballot in Ohio.

Efforts are currently underway to get the ballot measure added. 

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Ohio legalized medical marijuana back in 2016, although it took nearly three years for medical dispensaries to finally open. 

Since then, recreational cannabis has remained illegal and possession of marijuana is still a criminal offense, punishable by law. In Ohio, those caught with less than 200 grams of marijuana could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. 

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Last week, the Ohio Attorney General Office received a petition in support of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment, including a thousand signatures from the public, as required by law. 

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If the measure is added to the ballot and passes successfully, the proposed amendment will make possession of recreational marijuana legal for adults over the age of 21. Under the new law, Ohio residents will be permitted up to 1 ounce of cannabis, including up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrate (wax, shatter, etc.), as well as an additional six plants allowed per household. 

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According to the proposed amendment, “The following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Ohio law or the law of any locality within Ohio or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under Ohio law for persons twenty-one years of age or older: (1) Possessing, using, displaying, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories or one ounce or less of marijuana, with no more than eight grams of that one ounce being in the form of marijuana concentrate. (2) Possessing, growing, processing, or transferring no more than six marijuana plants per household, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants.”

If Attorney General Dave Yost approves the wording of the petition, it will be up to the Ohio Ballot Board for the next decision to move the measure forward. Then, in order for the amendment to successfully qualify for the November ballot, at least 400,000 more signatures will be needed before July. 

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Anthony Riley told Marijuana Moment, “Marijuana prohibition has been used to target communities of color for many years in Ohio. In addition to communities of color being targeted, other sick, disabled, and poor Ohioans have been treated unfairly for even trying to use medical marijuana as [an] alternative to opioids…”

A fellow medical cannabis user, Riley suffers from severe brain injury. He and three other members make up the committee petitioning to have the ballot measure considered in 2020.

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The committee also includes former NFL wide receiver Evan Spencer, as well as Carrie Beebe, a mother of two twin sons with autism, and Dr. Mark Welty, board member for the Ohio Patient Network. 

A bill signed into law last year effectively decriminalized cannabis in Ohio by making hemp legal. 

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