|Graphic: The Weed Blog
An Ohio group that wants to legalize medical marijuana has failed to submit enough petition signatures in its first effort toward putting the idea before voters.
Attorney General Mike DeWine (it would be a lot cooler if he was named DeWeed) on Wednesday rejected the initial petition for putting a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot, reports The Associated Press.
The amendment would allow cannabis possession for patients with qualifying ailments, along with their caregivers. Patients would need authorization from their doctor to use medical marijuana.
At least 1,000 valid signatures were required before the group could go ahead. Only 534 of the 2,134 signatures turned in were valid, according to DeWine, reports The Weed Blog.
The initial signatures and approval of wording on the issue are required before the group can circulate additional petitions. They would then need about 385,000 valid signatures to get the measure on the Ohio ballot.
A second petition campaign is underway for the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 (OMCA), another amendment that would take another approach toward marijuana in Ohio by having the state regulate it similarly to alcohol, according to the Ohio Patients Network, which supports the medicinal use of cannabis.
If approved by voters, the OMCA 2012 would establish a regulatory system modeled after the Ohio State Liquor Control system. (OK, that seems a little strange — why would a medicine be controlled by the liquor board?) There would be an Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, plus a state division and superintendent to run it.
Marijuana purchases under OMCA 2012 would require a doctor’s authorization and would be subject to state and local sales taxes.