COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today rejected the third petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would attempt to legalize medical cannabis for use in the state.
On January 13th, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled “Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment,” from the group Ohio Medical Cannabis Care LLC, the third submission of such a titled amendment by this group. 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters were submitted. However, Attorney General DeWine found at least five defects with the summary language:
The summary language states that a “qualified medical patient” is a person at least 21 years old, while the proposed amendments states that such persons must be at least 18 years old.
The summary language states that information kept by the Ohio Medical Cannabis Commission (OMCC) is exempted from the “Freedom of Information Act” expect for disclosure to Ohio law enforcement and Ohio courts. However, the proposed amendment only permits disclosure to law enforcement officials.
The summary language states the OMCC is permitted to confirm cardholder statute to an employer, school, court, or enforcement officials. However, the proposed amendment only permits the OMCC to confirm status on the cardholder’s permission.
The summary language limits signage on testing facilities and dispensaries to a cannabis leaf or green cross. However, the proposed amendment does not provide for that limitation.
The summary language defines “medical use” as “using cannabis, dried plant from a cannabis living plat of the genus cannabis.” However, the proposed amendment defines “medical use” as “the acquisition, possession, administration, cultivation in an enclosed and locked facility, delivery, transportation, transfer, or use of medical cannabis or medical cannabis accessories or supplies relating to the administration of cannabis to treat or alleviate a patient’s qualifying medical condition.”
“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” DeWine stated in a letter to the petitioners. DeWine rejected the first submission on July 29, 2015 and the second submission on October 2, 2015 on similar grounds.
The full text of today’s letter and of the amendment petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.