A petition to put pot legalization on the ballot was rejected by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. According to a statement issued by the AG, he rejected the petition to take a constitutional amendment to the voters this fall because there simply were not enough valid signatures on the petition.
A minimum of 1,000 valid signatures is required for a petition to be considered. The petition must also truthfully summarize the proposed change to the law. While the “Marijuana Rights and Regulations” petition had 1,248 signatures, nearly 1,000 of them were invalid.
For a signature to be valid, it must come from a registered Ohio voter. When Attorney General Yost sent the pot petition signatures back to the local boards of election to be verified, it turned out that only 271 of the signatures were valid.
Yost said, “Because your submission did not contain the verified signatures of at least one thousand qualified electors, we must reject it. Finally, because the petition failed to meet the signature threshold.”
While marijuana is legal in Ohio with a doctor’s prescription, recreational use is still against the law. However, medical pot dispensaries were deemed an essential service by the state and not included in the COVID-19 shutdown of businesses.
The amendment would have allowed Ohioans 21 and older to possess, grow, package, transport, use, and share pot in the state. It would also allow the sale of marijuana to be regulated similarly to alcohol and tobacco. Law enforcement would also be allowed to apply similar impairment laws.
The law would also give the state the authority to license grow operations, and regulate for pesticides. It would have also given employers the right to still screen for pot use and maintain a drug-free workplace.
Yost said that in rejecting the petition, he was not taking any sides as to whether the proposed change was a good idea or if the petition explained the proposed changes about pot laws truthfully. The lack of signatures was enough to disqualify it.