COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group pushing for the state to legalize recreational marijuana has enough signatures to earn consideration from Ohio lawmakers. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Ohio General Assembly will be required to consider legislation to legalize recreational marijuana

  • Possessing a small amount of marijuana is considered a minor misdemeanor

  • If the legislature opts to vote against the proposal, advocates can submit petitions to put the issue before voters

  • In 2015, Ohio voters defeated a proposal that would have legalized a small amount of marijuana

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose informed the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Friday that the group had collected enough signatures to force the issue to go before the state General Assembly. If legislators decide against the measure, the group said they will once again submit signatures to force the issue to be placed on the ballot.

LaRose informed the group that it had collected 136,729 valid signatures. The group needed approximately 132,000 signatures to garner consideration. 

In August, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost approved language for the initiative that would legalize possession of as much as 2.5 ounces of pot for adults 21 and older in most forms.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana is considered a minor misdemeanor.

In 2015, Ohio voters turned down — by a 64-36 margin — a ballot measure that would have legalized limited use and possession of recreational marijuana in Ohio. In the years since, several states have made recreational marijuana legal.

Unlike the 2015 measure, this proposal would be a statute and not an amendment to the state constitution.