Advocates affiliated with the group Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol have turned in an additional 222,000 signatures from registered voters in an effort to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot.

The Secretary of State’s Office is now in the process of validating the signatures. The total is nearly twice the number necessary (124,046) to place the citizens’ initiated measure before voters this fall.

Advocates had previously collected over 130,000 validated signatures from Ohio voters in support of the initiative. Those signatures were preserved after litigating parties agreed to a legal settlement last year. Under the terms of that settlement, advocates had to postpone their efforts until this November.

Speaking with the Ohio Capital Journal in May, Coalition spokesperson Tom Haren said: “It’s going to be on the ballot and it’s going to pass. Ohio consumers will not have to rely on their drug dealers or go to Michigan. They will be able to have safe, effective and regulated adult use of cannabis right here in the Buckeye State.”

A 2022 statewide poll of likely voters conducted by the Siena College Research Institute reported strong support for adult-use legalization among Democrats (79 percent) and Independents (61 percent), but far less support among Republicans (40 percent).

The ballot proposal allows for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana extract by those age 21 or older. Adult Ohioans could purchase marijuana at retail locations or grow up to 12 plants in a private residence (where at least two adults reside). Retail cannabis products would be taxed at 10 percent. Municipalities can to opt out of allowing retail sales if a majority of elected officials decide in favor of an ordinance to do so.

In 2015, Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal that sought to establish a limited legal market for the commercial production and sale of marijuana to adults. Several provisions of that measure were highly controversial, particularly those that sought to restrict the pool of licensed commercial growers to include only the initiative’s financial investors.

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