New Weed Wording Required for Ohio Pot Legalization Referendum

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Language must change before early absentee ballots submitted

On September 16, the Supreme Court of Ohio announced that the language used to craft the voter referendum that would legalize recreational and medicinal use of Cannabis must be changed. In the opinion of the court, the wording omits essential information and is inaccurate.

State officials must now re-word four essential sections of the initiative before absentee voting begins on Saturday, September 19. Overseas military and uniformed voters will be submitting their early absentee ballots in order to participate in the general election on November 3.

If approved, the initiative would allow Ohio to become the fifth American state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes but would also facilitate medical access for those suffering from serious illnesses. Adults aged twenty-one and older would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of Cannabis products and licensed individuals would be permitted to grow plants at home. Ten cultivation facilities would be authorized, if the referendum passes, in addition to the creation of a regulatory commission.

Clarifying the demand in their official decision, the Supreme Court stated that, “The cumulative effect of these defects in the ballot language is fatal because the ballot language fails to properly identify the substance of the amendment, a failure that misleads voters.”

ResponsibleOhio was the organization who had collected the necessary signatures to place the initiative before voters. The group's executive director, Ian James, told Reuters that “Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted had failed to provide voters with a fair representation of the amendment.”

 

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