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Signatures submitted to put adult-use cannabis law on the ballot for Ohio voters




Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol speaks with the press while field staffers deliver boxes containing petitions with 222,198 signatures to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, July 5, 2023, at the loading dock of the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State, 180 E Broad St in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal)

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 222,198 signatures of Ohio voters from all 88 counties to the Ohio Secretary of State Wednesday to bring a proposed law for consideration by Ohio voters in November.

“Our issue will authorize the possession and use of marijuana by adults 21 and over and provide a framework for the state to ensure proper regulation and fair taxation,” said Coalition spokesman Tom Haren in a news release.

So far, 23 states have enacted measures to regulate marijuana for adult use, and the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol hopes Ohio will be the 24th, the release said.

“This isn’t ground-breaking,” continued Haren. “We’re just trying to get Ohio in line with neighbors like Michigan and Illinois.”

Implementing best practices learned from the states that already regulate marijuana sales, the citizen-initiated statute would authorize the Department of Commerce to regulate the industry and impose a new 10% tax on adult-use marijuana sales, generating new tax revenue to the state that will be reinvested into local communities throughout Ohio.

“We want to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to how the state regulates alcohol sales and consumption. We’re ready to end the prohibition and let Ohioans responsibly use marijuana just like people in half of the country already do. It’s just common sense.”

The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office will now begin the process of validating the signatures to make sure enough of them have been gathered.

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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