A close-up shot of marijuana being processed in Colorado. (Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post file)

Ohio legalization group falls short on signatures, has 10 days to collect more

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s elections chief says a marijuana legalization campaign has failed to meet its initial signature target.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) announced Monday that about 276,000 of signatures submitted by the group ResponsibleOhio were valid. At least 305,591 were needed to make the November ballot. The group has 10 days to collect more signatures.

Campaign organizers said they submitted more than 695,000 signatures, which included many newly registered voters. After early indications that some of the registrations were faulty, Husted had cautioned boards of elections to use extra vigilance in checking the petitions.

ResponsibleOhio says it will challenge the evaluation of some of the signatures by the state, as volunteers start working to collect additional ones required.

The amendment would allow adults 21 and over to buy marijuana.