- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Backers have been cleared to begin gathering signatures for a proposal establishing a process for purging old pot-related convictions made obsolete by marijuana legalization.

Ohio’s ballot board certified the Fresh Start Act on Wednesday.

ResponsibleOhio, the group behind a fall marijuana legalization effort, considers the initiated statute the next step in its efforts. The proposal calls for reviewing and expunging criminal records for people with previous marijuana convictions if their actions would no longer be considered illegal under the legalization amendment.

The group must now collect some 92,000 valid signatures by year’s end in order to put the issue before state lawmakers next year. Legislators would need to act within the first four months of 2016 or supporters would have the option to put the question to voters next fall.

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