Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected a petition Monday that would have created an amendment to legalize marijuana for both medical and industrial purposes.
The failed amendment, known as The Medical Cannabis Industrial Hemp Amendment, received 2,131 signatures, putting it well above the 1,000 signatures needed for review by the Ohio attorney general.
“The amendment is unique in that it does not set any legislation or regulation within the amendment,” said Theresa Daniello, founder of Grassroots Ohio, the group that proposed the amendment. “It declares the right of patients to have access to medicinal cannabis, it creates a right for the small business person to make it an even playing field so that we can protect all Ohioans’ rights in this industry, it protects the rights of farmers and the growing of industrial hemp and finally — I believe the most important thing — is that we take it out of Schedule I in the state of Ohio.”
Daniello said that removing hemp as a Schedule I drug will allow for much-needed testing and research.
DeWine rejected the group’s proposal for two inconsistencies in the proposal’s summary language.
“The summary language omits references to proposed amendment language that ‘industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis shall be researched, regulated, and promoted by the State in a manner substantially similar to other agricultural crops,’” a press release from DeWine’s office said.
Additionally, the press release said that the summary language of the proposal noted an age limit on licensing and ownership of marijuana, but the proposed amendment itself placed only a limit on licensing but not ownership.
Although this is the first time Grassroots Ohio has proposed such legislation, it is not the first time an amendment has been proposed to legalize the drug in Ohio for medical purposes. In fact, DeWine rejected another proposed medical marijuana legalization amendment just two days prior to his rejection of The Medical Cannabis Industrial Hemp Amendment.
That legislation, the similarly-titled Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment, was proposed for the fourth time by Ohio Medical Cannabis Care LLC and was rejected by DeWine on Friday for 11 different reasons.
Daniello says her group is not deterred by DeWine’s rejection; rather, they are back at work to address his qualms.
“We had very minor mistakes and we are currently paying petitioners to gather again, and we will be going in on either Friday or Monday with our corrections,” Daniello said. “We are very confident that we will be approved.”