Last week, Legalize Ohio 2016 announced that it was suspending its efforts to collect petition signatures for an amendment to legalize and regulate marijuana use for recreational and medical purposes. Instead, the group is reorganizing to join efforts by the Marijuana Policy Project — the largest organization focusing on marijuana reform in the U.S. — to get medical marijuana legislation on the ballot in this year’s general election.
The push for across-the-board legalization took a hit last November when the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Issue 3, was defeated at the ballot box by a margin of nearly 30 percent. Issue 3 would have decriminalized and regulated marijuana use. However, the legislation would have only allowed 10 pre-selected sites to grow commercial cannabis, a caveat that many voters feared would lead to a small number of investors monopolizing the industry.
Despite this defeat, public opinion for cannabis reform remains high. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 84 percent of Ohio voters support legalizing medical marijuana use.
“It’s become pretty common knowledge that marijuana can be incredibly beneficial in the treatment…