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Direct Democracy in Action

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Whether it’s called “direct democracy” or “citizen-initiated amendment,” there is a way for residents to change a state’s constitution. This is the path three pro-pot proponents are taking to get marijuana legalized in Ohio.

Following is the step-by-step process the proposed amendment must take.

  • Proposed amendment is written and summarized.
  • Petition drive seeks 1,000 valid signatures.
  • Petition and amendment proposal (full text and summary) is sent to Attorney General.
  • AG reviews wording to determine if it is a “fair and truthful statement” of the proposed amendment. If so, AG certifies the documents
  • Ohio Secretary of State’s office’s Ballot Board then reviews the documents to determine that it is only one proposed law. If so, they certify the documents.
  • Petition drive begins to seek 305,591 valid signatures. (The number is 10 percent of the vote in the 2014 gubernatorial election).
  • Signatures must be from 44 of the 88 counties in Ohio.
  • In each of those 44 counties, the total number of signatures must be equal to 5 percent of the local vote in the 2014 gubernatorial election.
  • Signatures are due by July 1 to get the amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot.