May 10, 2014 (AP): A petition drive has begun to decriminalize
the use of marijuana in Toledo.
Members of Toledo’s chapter of The National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORMAL) began collecting
signatures on Tuesday to put the measure before voters; they
have a store front location at 610 Adams Street in downtown
a spokeswoman for the group, said supporters have collected
2,800 signatures so far and need 3,800 more to get the ordinance
on Toledo's November ballot, according to WTOL-TV, (http://bit.ly/Qr8BL1).
``We're ready now as citizens to have a fresh, mature discussion
about the pros and cons of marijuana use and how our laws
reflect that,'' said Sean Nestor, who's also with the
The measure, known as The Sensible Marijuana Ordinance,
would prohibit police from citing or arresting someone for
having, selling, or using marijuana. It also would prohibit city
prosecutors from trying marijuana cases.
Unlike Colorado and Washington, where marijuana
was recently legalized, the ordinance wouldn't allow for the
taxation or regulation of pot.
Supporters say marijuana use is a nonviolent crime and that most
people want to use it to relieve medical issues or stress.
Critics say marijuana is a gateway to more serious drugs and
that increased access will lead to a spike in youth use.
The drive is separate from a statewide effort to legalize
medical marijuana throughout Ohio.
group called Ohio Rights Group is collecting signatures
for a proposed constitutional amendment that calls for a
commission to regulate the use of medical marijuana and permit
Ohioans to grow industrial hemp for paper or clothing.
Through March 1, the group had collected 50,000 of the needed
385,000 needed to put the measure on November's ballot.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia already have medical
In 2012, Washington and Colorado passed recreational laws in
2012 to regulate the growth and sale of taxed pot at
state-licensed stores. Sales began Jan. 1 in Colorado, and are
due to start later this year in Washington.
Information from: WTOL-TV,