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Government & Politics

Cleveland Attorney Leads Effort for Full Legalization of Marijuana

a photo of marijuana products on a Denver store shelf
In Colorado, marijuana is legal, something Cleveland attorney Tom Haren wants to see happen in Ohio.

Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been fully operational for a year now, but participation in the program has lagged behind projections based on neighboring states. Now there’s a move afoot to put an issue on the fall ballot that would legalize marijuana outright. 

Cleveland attorney Tom Haren represents a group wanting to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.

“Full legalization in Ohio is a matter of when, not if, so we tried to put an amendment together that made sense in 2020,” he says. 

Haren says Ohio’s medical marijuana program is not working for many people who want the drug to help with health conditions. He says this proposed amendment would still allow the state to regulate the product.

The group has filed its amendment with the attorney general’s office, the first step in the process. And if it is given the green light by the state to circulate petitions, supporters of the plan will need to collect 443,000 valid signatures by July 1st.

Haren discusses reforms for marijuana laws.

“It doesn’t feel like there’s a willing partner in the state to make reforms. So what do you do? Do you continue to get reforms when you are not able to get anywhere and instead do you take the next step and do what 11 other states have done and implement an adult use program?”