Thursday, February 9, 2023

Some background on the recent history of marijuana reform efforts in Ohio

Ballot Initiative Process Diagram_final_7.2022_webStudents in my marijuana reform seminar are quite fortunate to have a special guest speaker coming to class next week.  Tom Haren, who has been called "the Face of Marijuana Legalization in Ohio," serves as a leader with the Coalition to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol in Ohio.  This group collected over 200,000 signatures in 2021 in order to get this statutory initiative petition seeking to fully legalize marijuana for full use in front of the Ohio General Assembly.  A dispute over filing deadlines resulted in a delay in when the initiative could move forward to a ballot vote, as this local article explains, so Ohio voters will now see this issue on their ballots in 2023 if the General Assembly does not address the measure and the campaign collects a second round of signatures after the legislative period.

Though I expect Tom Haren to speak to my class about his work on this initiative and its prospects, I still recall the last major ballot campaign over full legalization in Ohio back in 2015.  Helpfully, the rich and often ugly stories surrounding Ohio marijuana reform efforts in that off-off-year election are chronicled in a 2018 law review article: "Responsible Ohio: Successes, Failures, and the Future of Adult Marijuana Use in Ohio."  That article, though already quite dated, provides an important reminder that "Had Responsible Ohio not brought legalization to the political fore in 2015, it is unlikely that Ohio would have [had] a viable medical program" enacted the following summer.

Of course, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is the place to go for a lot more information about Ohio's existing medical marijuana program and reform proposals (including the timelines for the ballot initiative).

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2023/02/some-background-on-the-recent-history-of-marijuana-reform-efforts-in-ohio.html

Campaigns, elections and public officials concerning reforms, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms | Permalink

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