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New poll shows Ohio majority favors legal marijuana

A new poll shows that 84 percent of registered Ohio voters support legalizing medical-use marijuana.
smoking pot

COLUMBUS -- A new Quinnipiac University Poll found that 84 percent of registered Ohio voters back legalizing medical-use marijuana. 14 percent oppose it.

A slender majority, however, supports legalizing it for personal use.

Quinnipiac University sampled voters in three key swing states. 84 percent of registered voters in Florida back medical marijuana legalization. In Pennsylvania, 88 percent of voters would OK it.

52 percent of Ohioans would approve legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Ohio voters could face one or more issues on the November ballot from groups hoping to legalize marijuana in the state.

Responsible Ohio has already had its amendment language approved by the Attorney General and the Ohio Ballot Board. The group is now collecting signatures hoping to be on the ballot in November.

It proposes legalizing medical and personal use marijuana. Commercial growing would be limited to designated sites controlled by campaign investors. Licensed home growers could have four plants per household.

It needs to collect almost 306,000 signatures by July 1.

Monday, a second group, Ohioans to End Prohibition, posted its proposed language and announced the start of signature collection. It's language has yet to be approved by either the Attorney General of the Ballot Board.

It also proposed legalizing marijuana for both medical and personal use. But it wants a more open marketplace.

Group Vice President Jacob Wagner said, "This is an industry ripe with upward mobility. What we don't need is another plum for the one percent."

It hopes to be on the ballot in November 2016.

Wagner said, "When you look at people who vote in off-year elections, they tend to be more conservative and frankly wouldn't be more supportive for this kind of issue. In 2016's big presidential election...you are going to have higher turnout of the young vote. We're confident 2016 is the right year to do this."

It plans to collect signatures on college campuses and summer events.