State Auditor Says It's Too Easy To Get Constitutional Amendments On Ballots

May 18, 2015

State Auditor Dave Yost wants to make it harder to change the Ohio Constitution.
Credit ohio.gov

The proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize and regulate marijuana in Ohio has one state official calling for an overhaul of the process.

Auditor David Yost says he thinks it’s too easy for private economic interests to get constitutional amendments onto the state ballot. 

“The whole initiative process was designed to protect the many against the powerful few,” said Yost. “What’s happening now is that the powerful few are using that very safeguard to get their own way and make themselves rich at the expense of the many.” 

Yost says the 2009 amendment legalizing only four casinos run by only two companies is an example, and this year’s possible issue allowing 10 growing sites by what he calls a marijuana cartel is another.  Yost’s plan could require some groups to go to voters twice to change the constitution. But of course his plan would require a constitutional amendment, and therefore would also have to be approved by voters.