Ohio is joining the growing number of states taking the steps to legalize marijuana. A group of activists called ResponsibleOhio is pushing to get a legalization measure on the ballot in November of 2015. The group is hoping to get the support of the Ohio General Assembly in order to get the measure on the ballot.
If the measure is successful, it would make Ohio the fifth state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use. The measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. It would also establish a system of regulated and taxed marijuana retail stores and cultivation centers.
The measure is being supported by a coalition of organizations including the Ohio Rights Group, Ohioans to End Prohibition, and the Marijuana Policy Project. The groups are hoping to get the measure on the ballot by gathering enough signatures from Ohio residents.
ResponsibleOhio is also proposing a constitutional amendment that would create a network of 10 marijuana cultivation centers across the state. The centers would be owned and operated by the investors that fund the campaign. This has been met with criticism from some who feel that it would create a marijuana monopoly in the state.
The proposed amendment would also establish a system of taxation and regulation for the sale and use of marijuana in Ohio. It would allow for the sale of edibles and other marijuana products, as well as the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes.
The measure has yet to be approved by the Ohio General Assembly, but the group is hopeful that it will be put on the ballot in November. If the measure is successful, it would be a major step forward for marijuana legalization in the U.S. and could pave the way for other states to follow suit.