Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

Ohio Attorney General Rejects Marijuana Legalization Amendment

Medical marijuana initiative still collecting signatures


that doesn't look anything like buckeye

Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine, rejected a proposed ballot initiative that would've legalized marijuana in the state of Ohio because he could not certify the summary for the proposed initiative as "fair and truthful." From the attorney general's office:

  • The summary omits references to amendment language which repudiates federal cannabis prohibitions.
  • The summary omits references to amendment language that persons cannot be considered to be under the influence of cannabis "solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in his or her body."
  • The summary states that educational courses may be held by licensed commercial production companies or educational institutions to teach people, among other things, about "medical harms or benefits from the personal use of cannabis products." However, no such language referencing medical harms or benefits exists in the amendment.
  • The summary omits references to amendment language that confer new duties and responsibilities on the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Had the summary been certified, the attorney general's office would then decide whether the ballot initiative contained a single issue (question) or multiple ones. Supporters of the initiative would then need to collect the signatures of 5 percent of registered voters in at least half of Ohio's 88 counties.

A previous proposed ballot initiative on medical marijuana was certified in January 2012, but backers are still collecting the necessary signatures to achieve ballot status; the petition never expires but the deadline to make the ballot this November has passed for the initiative.

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  1. Kinda negates that whole “democracy” thing, doesn’t it?

    1. This sort of shenanigans happens in California all the time. A ballot initiative will qualify, the current governor or someone else in the administration won’t like it, so the summary and/or title gets written in an attempt to sabotage it. In 2010 an anti cap and trade initiative was called the “California Jobs Initiative.” After Jerry Brown (then AG) was done with it, it became the “Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters To Report And Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level For Full Year Initiative.”

      1. This happened in AZ the last three times they tried legalizing medical marijuana. First two were rendered to nothingness because of “improper wording”, and this last one in 2010 is being fought by the AZ Gov and AG. It is patently hypocritical BS from an administration complaining about this very thing vis a vis our immigration law and one-man-one-woman marriage amendment.

  2. The alternative to this has happened in Colorado, though, where the voter summary against a proposed light-rail line was submitted by the pro-expansion group, and made a bunch of bogus claims like double-decker highways and forced carpooling as alternatives.

  3. Any law that needs a summary is too long; this goes double for a voter initiative.

    1. No, actually a summary might need to be longer than the law or initiative. For instance, a bill that changes a few words or numbers here and there in the consolidated statutes might need a summary explaining what those existing statutes are about?and the consolidated statutes might’ve gotten long & complicated thru the accretion of little bits over many amendments enacted over time.

      Simply changing a word in a definition applicable to some long section of statutes might have many legal consequences that would need to be explained. So the amendment could be a short sentence referencing the place of the change and the change to be made, or even an addition of a definition where the ordinary meaning of the word was previously intended, while a summary describing the effects of the change might take pages.

  4. Mike DeWine is a POS. I’ve always hated that guy. i want to punch the ballot box when i see his freakin name. He was a douchbag as a Senator and he’s a douchbag as an AG.

    1. Need some McCheese for that DeWine?

  5. I have a feeling Jack Frapp is NOT gonna like that.

    1. Well it’s like Jack said, you can make $4523 an hour smoking weed on your laptop.

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