August 21, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Ballot Language Approved In Ohio, But ResponsibleOhio Doesn’t Like It

August 21, 2015
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Says It's Time to Decriminalize Marijuana

ohio signIt’s official – ResponsibleOhio’s marijuana legalization initiative shall be known as ‘Issue 3’ moving forward. Issue 3 will be joined on the 2015 ballot by Issue 2, which would prevent ResponsibleOhio’s initiative from becoming law. The official ballot language was approved this week for Ohio’s marijuana legalization initiative. ResponsibleOhio is not happy about the ballot language using the word ‘recreational’ instead of ‘personal use’ which was the phrase that was actually in the initiative language. Per The Cannabist:

Don McTigue, an attorney for ResponsibleOhio, opposed the board-approved language that described the legalization proposal as permitting the sale of “recreational” marijuana. He argued that the word “recreational” was not in the proposed amendment, while the phrase “personal use” was. He suggested “recreational” was chosen based on unfavorable polling.

“We don’t say recreational smoking of cigarettes,” McTigue told the board.

He also took issue with a description of where marijuana facilities would be permitted and how much marijuana people could purchase.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent joined her other Democratic colleague in voting against the ballot wording, saying it was neither accurate nor impartial. Clyde said use of the word recreational “crosses into editorializing about the amendment.”

Secretary of State Jon Husted, the board’s Republican chairman, said “recreational” helps to distinguish between marijuana used for medicinal purposes.

There has been a lot of debate surrounding Issue 3 versus Issue 2 in Ohio. The question that a lot of people are asking is ‘what happens if both issues pass on Election Day 2015?’ Ohio law is a little confusing. On one hand, Ohio’s Constitution says that whichever one gets the most votes becomes law. However, Ohio’s Secretary of State is saying that since Issue 2 would go into effect prior to Issue 3, that it would become law, regardless of which one gets the most votes. I think it’s safe to say that in the event that both pass, there will be a challenge in court from whichever side doesn’t get their way, and that’s the only way we will truly know which one will trump the other.


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