Toledo Could Face State In Legal Showdown If Pro-Pot Issue Is Passed

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While backers of medical marijuana attempt to get the issue on November's statewide ballot, supporters in Toledo are beating to their own drummer.

Members of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws are circulating petitions, which if approved by voters, would prohibit police from citing or arresting someone for having, selling or using marijuana.

"Northwest Ohio NORML had sixty volunteers and collected 2,800 signatures on primary election day," said Simon Dunkle of NORML.  "That's 30 percent of what they need to make the November ballot."

Dunkle tells 10TV that supporters will need 3,800 valid signatures to get the ordinance on Toledo's November ballot.

Local election attorney Mark Weaver says a pro-pot vote in Toledo would likely end up in court.

"The state could challenge Toledo if they passed this law, despite home rule in Ohio," said Weaver. "And the federal government still has the power to enforce drug laws."

Weaver says the state has a vested interest in protecting its anti-marijuana laws and would likely challenge Toledo.

Chris Davey, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court, tells 10TV that it’s impossible to say whether Toledo would be breaking any laws in legalizing pot “because that is open to interpretation.”

The federal government has held back from enforcing its anti-marijuana laws in states like Colorado which passed a referendum similar to what’s proposed in Toledo.