The pro-marijuana-legalization group ResponsibleOhio fell nearly 30,000 signatures short of the number it needs to qualify its legalization proposal for the November ballot. The group will have 10 days to collect the remaining signatures.
The group is required to collect 305,591 signatures, and although it reported last month that it had submitted 695,273 signatures, county boards of election verified only about 42 percent of them. The group plans to challenge the count.
“Every single voter who signed this petition has the right to be counted,” said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. “We will be taking these shortfalls to the Ohio Supreme Court to ensure that those thousands of voices are heard.”
ResponsibleOhio’s proposal would create a legal marijuana industry. 10 commercial farms have already been promised to campaign investors, and up to 1,100 retail stores could open across the state.
The proposal has been criticized by both lawmakers and marijuana advocates as being monopolistic in nature, and a constitutional amendment to prohibit granting “a monopoly, oligopoly or cartel” will be on the November ballot. If approved, it would override ResposibleOhio’s proposal.
Photo Credit: Garry Knight