Will November bring a choice to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio?

An Ohio group has presented a petition as the first step to getting the marijuana issue placed on the November ballot.

Will November bring a choice to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio?

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Is it time for legalized recreational marijuana in the state of Ohio?

An Ohio group believes so and has filed an amendment, titled “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” with the hopes of bringing the matter before voters in Ohio this November.

Thomas Haren, a partner with Frantz-Ward, a Cleveland law firm, is representing the group and says the impetus for the ballot push is that the medical marijuana program in the state is not meeting the needs of some patients including those diagnosed with autism and anxiety, who are not eligible for the current program.

“We were promised access and that’s not how it panned out,” Haren said.

The amendment must be approved by the Attorney General’s office and then the state Ballot Board must decide how the issue would be presented to voters.

If those two hurdles are cleared the group would have to come up with 434,000 signatures from registered Ohio voters, by July, to get the issue on the ballot by November.

Haren believes the amendment is exactly what the state needs to move a recreational marijuana program forward.

“What we’ve put forward, we think, is a moderate proposal that takes best practices from other states,” Haren said, “We used the Colorado amendment as the template for our language.”

Haren believes the amendment would protect children and families from irresponsible marijuana use and would provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter the industry.

The Attorney Generals office has 10 days to evaluate the amendment.

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