By Steve Elliott
Ohio could become the fifth state, and the first in the Midwest, to legalize marijuana under a measure that qualified on Wednesday for the state's November 2015 ballot. The measure itself, however, remains controversial, as it basically hands control of the state's legal cannabis industry to a handful of entrepreneurs.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted rules that ResponsibleOhio advocates and hired workers gathered enough valid signatures -- more than 320,000 -- to qualify, reports Jackie Borchardt at the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
The measure will appear as Issue 3 on the statewide ballot for the general election on November 3.
"It's time for marijuana legalization in Ohio, and voters will have the opportunity to make it happen this November -- we couldn't be more excited," said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. "Drug dealers don't care about doing what's best for our state and its citizens.
"By reforming marijuana laws in November, we'll provide compassionate care to sick Ohioans, bring money back to our local communities and establish a new industry with limitless economic development opportunities."
If the measure passes, Ohio would become the first state to legalize recreational marijuana without having legalized medicinal cannabis first.