Support for recreational marijuana, growing

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Voters will once again be asked if they want to legalize marijuana for recreational use, next November, when a new ballot issue on the subject will be up for vote.

A group on Columbus announced today, they are backing the “Free Market Adult Consumption of Marijuana” ballot issue for November 2018. It allows for commercial cultivation, processing, and dispensing of marijuana by people over the age of 21.

Jimmy Gould of CannAscend said: “Basically legal and commercial marijuana businesses are going to be treated like alcohol businesses.”

Voters said no to a similar effort back in 2015: Issue 3. But supporters say they’re ready to try again.

“We’re the only people who ever done that and gotten it on the ballot – that was issue 3,” Gould said. “And that cost a lot of money and we’re going to do it again. So we will be on the ballot in 2018 in November.”

State Representative Niraj Antani, however, slammed the move as “ill conceived” and “dishonest”. He said special interests will profit, at the expense of taxpayers.

“This is just another money, special interest that’s trying to come into Ohio and buy our ballot,” Antani said.

“We should discuss whether one guy or one company should be able to have the power to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to sear into constitution, recreational marijuana – how he does it to his benefit, for his company’s benefit.”

Antani has proposed his own resolution which would make it harder to for special interests to – quote – “hijack” Ohio ballots.

House Joint Resolution 5 would increase the number of signatures needed for both initiated statue and constitutional amendment, increase the vote total needed for passage to 60 per cent, and ban the paying of petition gatherers.

Among other things, the new ballot says marijuana cultivators must grow the drug in a non-public view able location that’s inaccessible to people under the age of 21.

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