A proposal to legalize marijuana hit a snag Monday when advocates were told they failed to get enough valid voter signatures. They have until Jan. 13 to make up the shortfall.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 119,825 valid signatures – 13,062 short of the required 132,887, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
The group needs the signatures for the first stage of the “initiated statute” process. If enough signatures are submitted by the new deadline, the Ohio General Assembly has four months to pass, reject or amend the draft legislation. If lawmakers don’t pass the bill, supporters can collect another 132,887 signatures to place it on the statewide ballot, likely in November 2022.
The proposal would allow Ohioans age 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams of concentrates and grow up to six plants in secure spaces at home, according to language of the proposed bill.
A 10% tax would be applied, with proceeds going to local municipalities with marijuana businesses, substance abuse and addiction programs and operations for the program. Local governments could prohibit or limit marijuana businesses from locating in their communities.
Other marijuana news:Ohio Senate passes bill to expand medical marijuana program
The process differs from the 2015 legalization effort, when Ohio voters rejected a constitutional amendment pushed by ResponsibleOhio that would have paved the way for adult marijuana use.
Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.