By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday August 13, 2013 5:23 AM
A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Ohio was rejected yesterday by Attorney General Mike DeWine.
DeWine turned down petitioners for the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012, citing four reasons that the submitted summary was not “fair and truthful” as required by state law.
The petition was submitted on Aug. 2 by three Ohio residents, including Tonya Davis, of Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, who has been involved in several previous marijuana issues. Proponents submitted 2,304 signatures of registered Ohio voters, more than double the 1,000 required.
DeWine said the submitted ballot summary omits references to amendment language which repudiates federal cannabis prohibitions and language saying “persons cannot be considered to be under the influence of cannabis ‘solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in his or her body.'"
He also faulted the summary because it says education will be provided about the “medical harms or benefits from the personal use of cannabis products,” although the full amendment includes no such provision.
Finally, DeWine said the summary did not refer to language in the body of the amendment saying that the departments of Agriculture and Commerce would be responsible for overseeing the program.
Three other marijuana issues, including one proposing legalization of growing hemp, have been approved by state officials, but they are not likely to appear before Ohio voters at an election in the near future. The deadline for this November’s election already has passed.
DeWine’s letter and the summary text can be found at http://www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.