The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, advocating for the legalisation of adult-use cannabis in Ohio, has fallen just short of the required signatures for its proposal to make the November ballot.
However, the group has a ten-day window, concluding on 4th August, to collect the additional 679 signatures needed out of the mandated 124,046.
Frank LaRose, the Secretary of State, confirmed this shortfall on Tuesday, marking yet another phase in the long-standing effort to get this legislation passed.
Coalition spokesperson, Tom Haren, expressed confidence about securing the necessary support within the stipulated period. “It appears we came up marginally short in this initial stage, but with ten days to find just 679 signatories for a supplemental petition, we’re optimistic. Especially as our plan to regulate and tax adult cannabis use has majority support from Ohio residents,” Haren commented.
This legislative push began back in January 2022 when the coalition first submitted petitions to the Ohio General Assembly.
Despite the legislative body’s inaction and legal complications that led to the coalition agreeing to postpone until this year, the proposal is now tantalisingly close to making the November ballot.
If passed, the new law would permit Ohioans aged 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces (94.5 g) of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates.
Furthermore, it would allow for the individual cultivation of up to six plants, with a household maximum of 12 plants.
The proposed law would also instate a 10% tax on cannabis products.
The revenue generated would fund administrative costs, addiction treatment services, municipalities with dispensaries, and a social equity and jobs scheme, benefitting those disproportionately affected by current cannabis laws.
The result will not be impacted by the upcoming ballot on constitutional amendment processes as the proposal is an initiated statute.
If successful, Ohio will become the 24th state to legalise cannabis for adult use. The state had previously legalised medical marijuana in 2016.