Group seeks legislation to legalize recreational pot in Ohio

July 27, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A pro-marijuana group said it will submit signatures to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday in an effort to have the Republican-led Legislature legalize recreational marijuana.

Attorney Tom Haren, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the submission of the first 1,000 signatures will require the Attorney General’s Office to review and approve petition language within 10 days.

If successful, backers would then need to collect nearly 130,000 valid signatures to put the issue before lawmakers, who will then have four months to decide. Should the Legislature reject the measure, supporters can gather another 130,000 signatures to put the issue on the statewide ballot.

The Legislature legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Ohio’s first dispensaries opened in January 2019.

The new proposal would allow Ohioans age 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and allow people to grow as many as six plants inside their homes.

Medical marijuana dispensaries, processors and cultivators could seek licenses for recreational marijuana and have exclusive rights for two years.

Haren said there is bi-partisan support for recreational marijuana legalization.