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Ohio might become the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana use

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2011, file photo, medical marijuana clone plants are shown at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2011, file photo, medical marijuana clone plants are shown at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) 

Ohio voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would allow medicinal and recreational use this fall.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted verified that enough signatures were collected by ResponsibleOhio to place the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Once the Ohio Ballot Board approves the amendment’s language, it will be official.

The amendment would allow anyone 21 years or older to buy, possess, and grow marijuana in limited amounts, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Commercial marijuana, however, will be limited to 10 farms that are owned by investors in ResponsibleOhio’s campaign.

The monopolistic implications of the amendment has drawn criticism from legalization advocates such as Cleveland native Drew Carey.

Another ballot measure, Issue 2, would prohibit monopolies, oligopolies, and cartels from getting privileges written into the Ohio Constitution, which would complicate the marijuana amendment if it succeeds. If both pass, Issue 2 would trump the marijuana amendment.

Ohio’s status as a bellwether state could signal the direction of marijuana legalization on the state level.

Success there will be interpreted as encouragement for the legalization movement, whereas failure could be detrimental to further legalization efforts on the state level.

If the amendment succeeds, Ohio will become the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana use, along with Washington, D.C.


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