A petition to bring a referendum before voters establishing a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana use and possession for Ohioans 21 and older and relegating issuance of marijuana business licenses through a nonprofit organization called My Free Ohio was rejected by the attorney general’s office on Monday, March 23, for insufficient number of valid signatures.
The “Marijuana Rights and Regulations” campaign is being led by three Ohioans, Chad Spohn of Waterford, Timothy Kerby of Strasburg and Cody Cinquemani of Canton, according to filings.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday that the initial petition was rejected for having just 271 valid signatures. The campaign submitted 1,248 signatures to the state on March 17, but needed 1,000 valid ones to move forward.
“Because your submission did not contain the verified signatures of at least one thousand qualified electors, we must reject it,” Yost wrote in the letter to the petitioning committee. “Finally, because the petition failed to meet the signature threshold, I have not made any determination concerning the fairness and truthfulness of the proposed summary.”
To be clear, this is a completely independent initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which you can read more about here. That campaign is currently in process with submitting a fresh batch of initial petition signatures after the attorney general rejected its ballot language.
Reached by phone on Monday, Spohn suggested the information coming out of Yost’s office was not accurate and that he was not aware of such a ruling — he originally disagreed that the initial petition was rejected per Yost’s announcement. He said he needed to review the notice before considering commenting any further.
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