Ohio voters will decide in November whether to legalize marijuana use for treating illnesses and for getting high.
Secretary of State Jon Husted said on Wednesday he had certified the group ResponsibleOhio had gathered enough valid signatures to place a constitutional amendment before voters in November.
The proposed amendment’s language still needs approval by the Ohio Ballot Board, he said.
The measure would establish a Marijuana Control Commission charged with regulating the growth, sale and taxation of marijuana, similar to legalization plans approved by voters in four other U.S. states.
In November, Oregon and Alaska approved the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in state-regulated systems that will usher in retail pot shops similar to those already operating in Washington state and Colorado.
The District of Columbia has also voted to allow recreational-use marijuana but not retail shops.
About half of U.S. states allow marijuana for medical use.
The vote in Ohio, a heartland state known as a political bellwether in national elections, reflects the shifting landscape for a substance that remains illegal under federal law. Pro-marijuana groups hope to put similar measures before voters in six other U.S. states in 2016.
The Ohio amendment would designate 10 locations for the growing of marijuana and make it legal for people 21 or older to use and possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of the drug and grow up to four marijuana plants for personal use.
ResponsibleOhio handed in 305,591 signatures from half of the state’s 88 counties.
The wording of the amendment has drawn criticism from some marijuana legalization supporters who say it creates a marijuana monopoly in the state.
Another ballot measure, an anti-monopoly proposal backed by state lawmakers in June, would effectively block the marijuana measure if passed in November because a citizen-initiated amendment takes 30 days longer to take effect than a legislative one.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland, Ohio; Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Mohammad Zargham)
‘Anyone who tried to impact outcome of election should spend life in jail’: Lewandowski
On Tuesday, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Lewandowski's appearance before Congress was significant because Donald Trump reportedly told him to tell Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller's Russia probe.
Lewandowski was defiant in his opening statement, slamming the investigation as biased and knocking Hillary Clinton. He also declared that any entity that tried to meddle in a U.S. election should be in prison.
He said that he handled as many as a thousand emails. "And unlike Hillary Clinton, I don't think I ever deleted any of those," Lewandowski said. "Many of them were either responded to with one-word answers or floated to other staff for additional follow-up. But throughout it all, and to the best of my recollection, I don't recall ever having any conversations with foreign entities, let alone any who were operating to manipulate the outcome of an election."
‘Ranting toddler’ Doug Collins gets clobbered online after he turns Lewandowski hearing into a ‘clown show’
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the ranking Republican member on the House Judiciary Committee, was brutally mocked on Tuesday after he unleashed a bizarre rant during the testimony of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Collins began his testimony by blasting Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) for hauling Lewandowski before the committee.
"Here we go again," Collins complained in an animated opening statement. "We had Mr. Mueller here, and long day, and it did not go well for what you have proclaimed for over one year and nine months, and what you claim is impeachment criteria. And now, the members have said that the president should be impeached, and so why are we investigating?"
American neo-Nazis now see 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden as a role model: report
A new report from Vice claims that white supremacist organizations are increasingly viewing Osama Bin Laden, the late mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as a role model whose actions can influence the future of their movement.
The report finds that neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division has recently started using Bin Laden's image in its propaganda while also promoting Islamist extremists' willingness to commit mass murder in the name of their religion as something that should be inspiring to American white nationalists.