COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Lawmakers could potentially place another hurdle in the path to legalizing marijuana in Ohio.
The Ohio Senate Rules Committee is considering a bill that would send an amendment to voters this November.
That amendment, if passed, would ban any future amendments granting business monopolies and enshrining property rights for individuals in the Ohio Constitution.
Senate President Keith Faber said amendments like a proposed marijuana legalization amendment or the previously passed casino amendment are bad business.
“It stifles competition, it stifles the free market, and it puts private property rights inside the state constitution, our governing document,” he said. “It’s a bad public policy.”
Faber adds, “The free market needs to pick winners and losers. This is literally putting winners in the Constitution.”
Responsible Ohio is the group behind the proposed marijuana legalization amendment. Their amendment would limit growing sites in the state to ten.
Spokesperson Faith Oltman says many other Ohioans also stand to benefit if the amendment passes.
“There are ten growing sites, but there are going to be thousands of opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Ohio,” she said.
Oltman explains this proposal considered by the Senate Rules Committee would minimize the voice of the people.
She says, “We know that voters supports marijuana legalization, but lawmakers don’t. They are trying to cheat us and put a hurdle in our way in the process.”
The proposal to limit monopolies created by state amendments was already passed in the Ohio House with bipartisan support. The Senate is expected to take action in the next couple days.
This amendment and the marijuana legalization amendment could end up on your ballot this November. If both pass, analysts say the amendment barring monopolies would be implemented immediately, which would then invalidate the marijuana legalization amendment that would not be implemented until a few weeks later.