Pickaway News Journal

Mon, Aug 21, 2017

DeWine rejects petition for Legalize Marijuana in Ohio amendment

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Mike DeWine

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today rejected the petition for the proposed Legalize Marijuana in Ohio amendment because the summary of the petition was not "fair and truthful."

On April 17, the Ohio Attorney General's Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution by adding the Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Amendment. Attorney General DeWine's letter rejected the summary for two reasons: 1) the summary incorrectly stated the amount of tax distributed to the Municipal and Township Government Stabilization Fund, and 2) the summary omits portions of the proposed amendment, and those omissions prevent the summary from meeting the fair and truthful standard. Specifically, the summary states that amendment language only allows persons 21 years of age or older to share marijuana accessories with other such persons, but the summary omits amendment language noting the age limitation does not apply to patients with proper medical certification.

"For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment," DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. "However, I must caution that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary."

In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. 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.

The full text of today's letter and of the initiative petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.

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