The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled several ballot initiative campaigns in Ohio, including one to place adult-use cannabis legalization in front of voters this fall, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign has temporarily suspended its effort as the state responds to the coronavirus. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office rejected summary language of the ballot initiative March 10, and the campaign has struggled to find its footing as Ohio responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We made the decision early on that the health of our volunteers, supporters, medical marijuana patients and the general public would be our primary concern,” Tom Haren, a spokesman for the campaign, told The Columbus Dispatch. “As Ohio begins the process of re-opening, we are evaluating our options and hope to have more to share soon.”
Campaigns to qualify ballot initiatives on voting rights, increased minimum wage and others are also in limbo until Ohio’s stay-at-home orders are lifted, according to the news outlet.
The campaigns must collect 452,958 valid signatures from registered voters in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties by July 1 in order to qualify their initiatives for the 2020 ballot, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Some have asked the court to reduce the signature requirement or to allow the campaigns to gather signatures online, but a Franklin County judge has said that he does not have the authority to change constitutional ballot initiative requirements, according to the news outlet.