Petition certified for proposed statute to expand legal marijuana in Ohio

In August, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office certified a revised petition for a proposed statute that would add a chapter to the Ohio Revised Code to control and regulate cannabis use by adults.

On Aug. 13, the Attorney General’s Office received a re-submitted summary language for “An Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis.” The proposed statute would require the state to authorize adults 21 years and older to use cannabis and regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession and home growth. A previous version of the petition was rejected on August 5, 2021.

The attorney general’s role in the petition process is to determine whether the summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed statute. The revised petition does meet that requirement and a certification has been submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State.

Next in the process, the Ohio Ballot Board must determine whether the proposal contains a single law or multiple laws. If the Ballot Board certifies the petition, the petitioners must collect signatures from registered voters equal to at least 3% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election. In addition, those signatures must come from voters in at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties and, for each of those counties, the number must equal at least 1.5% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election.

The petition must be filed with the Secretary of State not less than 10 days prior to the commencement of any session of the Ohio General Assembly. If the petition is verified and has sufficient signatures, the Secretary of State will send the proposed law to the General Assembly as soon as it convenes. The General Assembly has four months to act on the proposed law. If the proposed law is passed by the General Assembly, either as petitioned for or in an amended form, it shall be subject to the referendum.

If the General Assembly does not pass the proposed law, or passes it in an amended form, or takes no action at all after four months, then a supplemental petition may be circulated by petitioners to submit the proposed law to voters at the next general election.

The full text of the certification letter and the petition can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.

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