Ohio Initiative Would Expunge Marijuana Crimes

OHIO:  Backers of a marijuana legalization amendment on this fall’s ballot filed petitions on Tuesday to put a separate proposed law in legislators’ laps to expunge criminal convictions for past pot offenses that would no longer be illegal.

The proposed initiated statute assumes voters will approve Issue 3 on Nov. 3 to make Ohio the first state east of Colorado to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes, which remains a big question mark.

But Ian James, executive director for ResponsibleOhio, said the group still will push what’s being called the Fresh Start Act if Issue 3 fails. The act could affect other activities that might be decriminalized by the legislature or voters.

“This allows people who’ve been convicted of offenses that are no longer illegal an ability to move forward, an ability to get expungement and sentencing review,” he said.

Attorney General Rejects Petition For Legalize Marijuana In Ohio Amendment

OHIO:  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today rejected the petition for the proposed Legalize Marijuana in Ohio amendment because the summary of the petition was not “fair and truthful.”

On April 17th, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution by adding the Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Amendment. Attorney General DeWine’s letter rejected the summary for two reasons: 1) the summary incorrectly stated the amount of tax distributed to the Municipal and Township Government Stabilization Fund, and 2) the summary omits portions of the proposed amendment, and those omissions prevent the summary from meeting the fair and truthful standard. Specifically, the summary states that amendment language only allows persons 21 years of age or older to share marijuana accessories with other such persons, but the summary omits amendment language noting the age limitation does not apply to patients with proper medical certification.

“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. “However, I must caution that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”