Toledoans react to possible legalization of recreational marijua - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledoans react to possible legalization of recreational marijuana

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Next fall you could be voting to legalize recreational marijuana here in Ohio and according to our poll online most of you would vote "yes."

Over 4,000 of you voted as of Tuesday night and a whopping 92 percent of voters said they're in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

Right now, a group is pushing a campaign to amend the Ohio Constitution to allow for 'adult-use' of marijuana. The proposal, "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol," would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

It would be for those 21 years or older and control production and distribution of the drug.

"Me personally, I'm for more legal,” said Leigh Meggitt, a supporter of the legalization of marijuana. “The more free that we can have the world the better."

Several in Downtown Toledo Tuesday night said they believe the amendment to regulate marijuana like alcohol is good and if on their ballot, they would vote for it.

"From the economic side of things I think it can really put a big boom in Toledo,” said Justin Samson, a supporter of the proposed amendment. "Toledo desperately needs some kind of income coming in and I think that could do a great job. People are going to smoke weed regardless if it's legal or not and if it's legal it's going to make it much safer because now we are going to start regulating it."

"It would allow safer sources for it so people aren't having to do it illegally,” said Meggitt. “They'll know exactly what they are getting, that it hasn't been laced, hasn't been messed with, that it's been grown properly with no harmful pesticides, you know, these things would be knowable then."

Some of you however voiced concerns on our Facebook.

"Never! We don't need more impaired drivers on the road." And David says, "I say no just because the younger kids these days make it look bad for people that really need it," said Gene, a Facebook user. 

"This isn't just about morality,” said Sean Nestor, co-chair of the Lucas County Green Party and campaign manager of the 2015 sensible marijuana ordinance. “It's about the law and I think most people are framing this as should it be illegal? Should somebody have to go to prison simply for possessing it. I think most people understand that that's really not where we want to be."

Sean Nestor successfully worked to decriminalize marijuana here in Toledo and believes this is a positive step forward, but he's cautiously optimistic and waiting for the final draft of the amendment.

"Based on the bullet points it looks good, but you always want to find the details,” said Nestor. “The devil is in the details."

He believes this is something you should continue to look into and follow through the entire process. The amendment will be filed with its final language to the attorney general in January with the filing deadline coming in July of 2018.

We wanted to dig a little bit deeper into this proposed amendment to regulate recreational marijuana.

The two people who are pushing for this change say their plan wouldn't get rid of the state's medical marijuana program.

They're also calling for 'local control' meaning cities and townships can approve the number of commercial marijuana businesses in the community.

There's also limitations on where facilities can be including not within 500 feet of a school or a day care.

The entire proposal can be found below.

MEDIA RELEASE

Details of Ohio Constitutional Amendment for 2018 Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2017

Overview of Ohio's Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol  

The following was released by Jimmy Gould and Ian James of Green Light Acquisitions, LLC (GLA) who raised, invested and spent over $28.5 million to advance Marijuana Legalization in Ohio since 2014. GLA is leading the effort to get the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment on the 2018 General Election ballot.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment would provide for the legal Cultivation, Possession, Processing, Dispensing, Use and Consumption of Marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older. The Amendment will control the commercial production and distribution of marijuana under a system that licenses, and regulates the businesses involved; while also providing the lawful cultivation, sale and processing of Industrial Hemp. The Amendment will not impact the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Leave OH Medical Marijuana Control Program in Place - While Cultivation Applications will be Appealed, and Court Actions Proceed, the Amendment will not limit any privileges, rights, immunities, or defenses of a person as provided through the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program or any other law of this state allowing for or regulating marijuana for medical use.

Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol – The Amendment will provide for the Commercial Cultivation, Processing, and Dispensing of Marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older. If you can own a bar, or make beer, wine or spirits, you will be able to own a marijuana dispensary, processor or cultivation. This is the Free Market approach to Adult Consumption of marijuana a strong majority of Ohioans support. Amendment will control the commercial production and distribution of marijuana under a system that licenses, and regulates businesses involved.

Local Control - Cities, Villages and Townships can approve the number of commercial marijuana businesses that may be permitted to operate in their community, and local voters will be allowed to decide if Dispensaries can open in their precinct (just like alcohol distribution).   

No Public Consumption – Smoking marijuana or marijuana products will be prohibited in any public place, in any place where smoking is prohibited, or on (or in) any form of public transportation – Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program will remain unchanged.

Proximity Limitations – Commercial Marijuana Facilities can be no closer than 500 feet from a House of Worship, School, Licensed Day Care, Library, and/or Playground.

Hemp Cultivation – Ohio Farmers should have the same right to cultivate Hemp that our neighboring states. Under this Amendment, Ohio Farmers would be permitted to cultivate Hemp, and compete with Farmers in neighboring states.

Home Cultivation – This Amendment will allow persons 21 years of age or older to Cultivate in secure non-public viewable locations in which those under 21 years of age cannot access.

Landlords and Property Management Protections – Provides landlords the ability to maintain the right to forbid Home Cultivation.

Protects Ohio Businesses – Provides protections for Ohio employers by allowing them to establish and fully maintain drug free work places. Businesses would maintain the right to drug free work places as well as employing, disciplining, and terminating those who violate their workplace drug policies.

Forbids the Operation of Motor Vehicle Under the Influence – Consuming marijuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat, or smoking marijuana within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a public way, shall be prohibited.

Additional Forbidden Locations to Consume Marijuana –  Possessing marijuana accessories or possessing or consuming marijuana on the grounds of a public or private school where children attend classes in preschool programs, kindergarten programs, or grades 1 through 12, in a school bus, or on the grounds of any correctional facility.

Lab Testing – Commercially produced Marijuana shall undergo lab testing to ensure product safety

Seed-to-Sale Tracking – Commercially cultivated, processed and sold marijuana shall undergo seed-to-sale tracking to keep the commercial production and distribution of marijuana FROM the illicit market and prevent the diversion of marijuana TO illicit markets; prevent revenue generated from commerce in marijuana from going to criminal enterprises or gangs; prevent the distribution of marijuana to persons under 21 years of age.

Rules Promulgated and Penalties Prescribed –  Require the promulgation of administrative rules by a certain date; and to prescribe certain penalties for violations of this Amendment.

Enforcement of this Section – There will be provisions to ensure the rules are promulgated in a timely manner so as to allow the commercial activities to commence and meet voter intention.

Provides Legal Commercial Marijuana Business Be Treated Like Alcohol Businesses – Provisions will be provided to protect legal consumers as well as those who participate in the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and dispensing of marijuana for from penalty under the law.

Q&A

Question: When will the Amendment start Circulation?            
Answer: We plan to finalize the language and circulate and file the Summary Petition with the Attorney General in January.

Question: When is the Initial Filing Deadline?       
Answer: The Initial Filing Deadline for the Initial Petition is July 4, 2018

Question: How many valid signatures are needed?         
Answer: 305,592

Question: Do you have a PAC?             
Answer: We have not yet established a PAC, but will do so shortly.

Question: How will people be able to weigh-in on the Amendment?             
Answer: An email account has been created with the address: Ballot@GLA.Holdings  to field Questions and Comments regarding the Ballot Issue.

Questions or Comments?
Ballot@GLA.Holdings

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