Ohio Lawmakers Rethink Legalization, Medical Marijuana For Autism Passes Health Committee

By Nina Zdinjak

The Secretary of Ohio State’s Office confirmed that cannabis activists have collected enough signatures from registered voters to put a marijuana legalization measure before lawmakers.

What Happened 

The Office validated more than 10,000 outstanding signatures. Previously in December, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol confirmed it had collected 206,943 signatures for a bill that would allow adults to buy and possess cannabis. It turned out later that they were lacking more than 13,000 signatures to put the initiative before legislators.

marijuana legalization
Photo by Bet_Noire/Getty Images

Now, with enough validated signatures, lawmakers have a four-month deadline within which to proceed with the legislation. If they reject the bill or approve a changed version, supporters can collect another 132,887 signatures to place the measure on the ballot in the next election.

RELATED: Ohio Cannabis Advocates Push Lawmakers To Review Marijuana Legalization, Submit 206K Signatures

Back in 2015, Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal aiming to create a limited legal market for the commercial production and sale of cannabis to adults. There were several provisions of that measure viewed as controversial, like the one that sought to limit the number of licensed commercial cultivators to include only the initiative’s financial investors.

Proposed Bill Highlights 

Under the proposed bill, Ohio residents age 21 and older would be allowed to legally buy and own 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrates. They’d also be allowed to cultivate up to six plants individually and no more than 12 in a household with several adults.

“We are ready and eager to work with Ohio legislators over the next four months to legalize the adult use of marijuana in Ohio,” CTRMLA spokesman Tom Haren said in a press release.

Medical Marijuana For Autism

Just last week, Ohio House Health Committee passed a bipartisan bill that would add autism spectrum disorder to the list of conditions for which doctors can recommend medical cannabis, reported Cleveland.com.

RELATED: THC More Effective Than CBD In Treating Autism, New Preliminary Study Shows

House Bill 60 now heads to the House Rules and Reference Committee, where it will be decided if it should be put to the floor. Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Juanita Brent, a Cleveland Democrat, said he is optimistic the bill could get a floor vote in the coming weeks.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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