In 2015, a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in Ohio failed to garner enough votes to pass. But now the same group is proposing another initiative for November 2018 that will do the same.
Jimmy Gould is the chairman of Green Light Acquisitions, a medical marijuana company in Ohio. He unveiled a new ballot initiative proposal today to legalize recreational marijuana. Gould will now begin collecting the 305,592 signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot next November.
The initiative Gould is proposing would be regulate marijuana just like the alcohol industry in the state. It would allow cities to determine whether or not to allow dispensaries in their jurisdictions, public consumption of cannabis would not be allowed, and anyone 21-years-old or older would be allowed to grow their own marijuana at home.
Gould was previously part of a group called ResponsibleOhio that was able to get a marijuana legalization bill on the 2015 ballot in the state. However, two-thirds of voters rejected the initiative, and it failed to receive a majority in all 88 counties in Ohio. Gould says this new proposal is "is as different from [the previous ballot initiative] as night and day,'' and that he spent more time getting the details right on this one.
The question is whether Ohio voters will make such a turnaround in just three years. While a record number of Americans support marijuana legalization than ever before, expecting that a state that only supported recreational cannabis with 33 percent of the vote to suddenly gain 18 percent of support in three years is pretty unlikely. But then again, there are more success stories coming out of Colorado, Washington and Oregon since then, as well as the launch of Nevada and the upcoming legalization in California, all of which could be used as evidence to support the new initiative.
But the initiative still needs to collect over 300,00 signatures before it can even be voted on, so don't begin your house hunting in Cleveland just yet.