COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected the petition Monday for the proposed End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012.
DeWine said he could not accept the summary of the petition because it was unable to be certified as fair and truthful. DeWine's office received the written petition from Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis on Aug. 2. The petition requested amending the Ohio Constitution with the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012.
DeWine said the summary of the petition omitted references to amendment language that repudiates federal cannabis prohibitions, omitted references to amendment language that individuals cannot be considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in the body and omitted references to amendment language conferring new duties and responsibilities on the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
DeWine added that the summary states that education courses could be held by licensed educational institutions or commercial production companies about the medical benefits or harms from the personal use of cannabis products, but the amendment does not contain language referencing medical harms or benefits.
"For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment," DeWine said. "However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary."
For a state constitutional amendment to proceed, petitioners must submit an initial petition with summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters to DeWine's office. Following certification of the summary language and the initial signatures, the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendment contains multiple issues or just one. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio's 88 counties. The number of signatures collected must be equal to five percent of the total number of votes cast in the county for the office of the governor at the last gubernatorial election.
Throughout the state, the total signatures collected must be equal to 10 percent of the total votes cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.