The race to make Ohio the fifth state to legalize marijuana starts this week. The bipartisan Ohio Ballot Board on Friday approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow adults over the age of 21 to smoke weed and legalizes medical marijuana for minors, with parental consent.
The new law also seeks to limit the commercial growth of marijuana to 10 sites owned by the investors that are paying for the ballot campaign. However, adults over the age of 21 would be able to obtain a license to grow up to four marijuana plants for their personal use, but not for sale. This is a great addition because Washington state passed their legalization initiative without including the right for adults to cultivate their own. Luckily there’s legislation that was just introduced that should allow home cultivation if all goes well.
Now, supporters must gather nearly 306,000 signatures by July to reach their goal of qualifying for the November 2015 ballot.
“We have the procedural stuff in place to begin our signature effort, which is exciting,” ResponsibleOhio spokeswoman Lydia Bolander said. She also said the group will use a mix of paid and volunteer workers to gather the necessary signatures and they intend to collect as many as 500,000 signatures to ensure enough of them are valid.
ResponsibleOhio has received a lot of criticism from veteran activists and reform organization leaders for the monopoly-ish model the initiative creates, says The Weedblog who go on to say: The original initiative language gave the sole right to grow marijuana to just ten entities. The newer version of the initiative allows for home cultivation of up to four plants, as long as the grower has a license. How hard a license will be to get is unclear at this time.
Think Ohio will be the 5th state to legalize marijuana? Let us know in the comments below…
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