Reigniting Ohio's Effort To Legalize Weed

Feb 27, 2020

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss a renewed push to legalize recreational marijuana on Ohio's November ballot. Jackie Borchardt, Columbus bureau chief for the Cincinnati Enquirer, joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

In this week's episode:

Pot Politics

Another campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio is ready to launch. As first reported by the Enquirer, a new coalition wants to put a constitutional amendment on this fall’s ballot. The coalition includes several Ohio medical marijuana growers. 

Ohio voters rejected a recreational marijuana amendment in 2015. The so-called "Responsible Ohio" plan would have limited Ohio’s marijuana industry to a handful of companies.

Soon after the loss, advocates started planning for a medical marijuana ballot question. Lawmakers, seeing the writing on the wall, legalized medical pot themselves. That system is in place now, but it's not fully functional.

The Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association, which represents 15 companies, is not backing the new ballot effort. If the language is approved by the Ohio Attorney General and Ballot Board, supporters would need to collect nearly 450,000 valid signatures by July 1.

Voter Enthusiam, Dude!

Early voting has begun and according to the Secretary of State’s office, Ohioans have requested about 150,000 absentee ballots and about 19,000 people have voted early.

Compared to the last presidential primary four years ago, the absentee ballot numbers are about the same but nearly twice as many people have voted early so far.  

Snollygoster Of The Week

Despite being under investigation by the FBI for lavish travel with lobbyists, former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has been posting dozens of pictures of his travels to South America and Europe. After a reporter started asking questions, his Instagram account was made private.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that The Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association opposed the new legalization ballot initiative.

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