Ohio AG rejects language in legal marijuana petition

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has rejected summary language in a petition to legalize marijuana use and sales in the state.

Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday listed seven deficiencies in the petition filed by a group called Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Among the technical problems cited in the summary language was that the petition fails to inform signers of the measure’s “character and limitations.”

The group was told to review the summary to make sure it “accurately captures the proposed statute’s definitions, contents and purpose” before resubmitting.

The coalition needs to gather 133,000 valid signatures to submit the proposed state law to the Ohio Legislature, which will have four months to act. If it does not, the measure allowing adults 21 and older to buy, possess and grow marijuana would not be placed on the Ohio ballot.

The group wants to make it legal for adults 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and 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 under the proposed law.

Group spokesman attorney Tom Haren has said there is bipartisan support for recreational marijuana legalization in Ohio.

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