Listen

Board Gives "Fresh Start" Petitions To Erase Pot Convictions Green Light

Jul 15, 2015

Attorney Don McTigue addressing Ballot Board
Credit Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio Ballot Board has given the green light to a group that wants to erase the records of Ohioans with marijuana convictions if pot is legalized this fall.

The group can now take another step to get lawmakers to pass the plan.  Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

If Ohio voters approve a marijuana legalization plan this year, they might see another pot issue on the ballot next year.  The Ballot Board has given ResponsibleOhio, the group behind this year’s proposed constitutional amendment which would establish ten growing sites and regulate control over pot, the opportunity to start gathering petition signatures on another plan called the “Fresh Start Act.” Attorney Don McTigue says, if marijuana use becomes legal, this act would allow people with specific pot convictions to clear their records.

“You are talking about possession issues, possession violations which no longer would be violations if the amendment is approved by the voters,” McTigue says.

Now the group can use this petition language that the ballot board approved to get 92,000 valid petition signatures. Once it does that, Ohio lawmakers will have four months to approve it. If they don’t, the group can collect another 92,000 valid signatures to put it the same proposal before voters next fall.