Ohioans Seeking to Get Two Marijuana Legalization Initiatives on the Ballot

The National Organization for Reformation of Marijuana Laws are seeking to change the currently illegal status of the possession of marijuana in Ohio. On Saturday, the Ohio and Local Cleveland chapters of NORML made two proposals, one involving the recreational use of marijuana, and the other involving the use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The amendment seeking to legalize marijuana in Ohio for medicinal use is called the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012, which would establish a regulatory system modeled after the Ohio State Liquor Control system. It would put in place an Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, as well as a state devision and superintendent to run it. If approved by voters, marijuana purchases would require a doctor's prescription and would be subject to state and local sales taxes.

Those qualified to make purchases under the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 would be permitted to buy 60 grams of marijuana at a time, and could possess and transport up to 200 grams (7 ounces). They would also be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use. Permits would be required for growing and selling marijuana.

In addition to the medical marijuana initiative, there is a second proposal seeking to legalize marijuana on a recreational basis, just like beer and wine. Cher Neufer notes that this proposal has only just been introduced, but explains:

”For instance, you are allowed to personally make your own beer, but you are not allowed to sell it. So, it would be the same thing. You could personally grow so many plants and consume it, share it with your friends whatever, but you can’t sell it.”

In order to get these issues on the ballot, supporters are first required to gather 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters to submit language to the attorney general for approval. After this has been accomplished, they may begin collecting the minimum number of signatures required to get on the ballot, which is 385,245.