Medical marijuana headed for the ballot


By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com



It looks like you may be voting on the subject of medical marijuana in Ohio after all. After earlier rejecting the petition, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has certified the petition for the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical use.

On March 15th, the Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution from the group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. The submission was certified on Friday as containing both the necessary 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment.

“Without passing upon the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred,…I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law,” Ohio Attorney Mike General DeWine said in his certification letter.

The next step is determining if the proposal contains a single issue or multiple issues. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board must make that determination. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.

Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Aaron Adams recently told the Daily Times he is skeptical of the timing.

“I think we need to do a lot more research on the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” Adams said. “At this point I think the game is still out. The decisions are out. People are talking about different things and outcomes but there needs to be a clear evidence-based path to indicate how this stuff should be used and when it should be used and who is going to regulate it.”

By Frank Lewis

flewis@civitasmedia.com

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.