Ohio Group to Submit Enough Signatures to Put Marijuana Legalization to a Vote

Tomorrow the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Ohio will submit well more than total number of signatures required to put their marijuana legalization initiative to a vote this November.

The group on Wednesday will submit 220,000 signatures, almost 100,000 more than the 124,000 they were required to collect. They were given just 90 days to do so.

If passed by voters, the initiative would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older. The initiative would also establish a legal marijuana industry, with licensed retail outlets authorizes to sell marijuana and marijuana products including concentrates and edibles.

Tom Haren, a spokesperson for the Coalition, says that their proposal is “boring by design”, noting that the group is “taking the best practices from other states to avoid the pitfalls seen in some states that have come before us”.

Haren says “We want to eliminate the illicit market and replace it with a regulated market. We think our proposal would do that. It offers a real alternative that will be competitive on price and access.”

Under the proposed initiative marijuana would be taxed at 10% at the point of sale. Revenue would be distributed to various programs including for substance abuse and addiction programs.

The full initiative text can be found here.

In 2015 Ohio voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized marijuana nine years before this new initiative will be considered. However, many consider the initiative’s failure more of a sign of bad initiative text rather than a rejection of legalization. The measure would have handed essentially the entire marijuana industry to a few select license holders, mostly large donors to the campaign.

[Editor’s note: This article has been updated to state that the initiative will be on the ballot this November, not in 2024.]

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