September 29, 2022

Recreational marijuana moves up legislative ladder despite DeWine’s grievances

A coalition aiming to persuade Ohio lawmakers to regulate marijuana for adult use has submitted enough signatures for the proposal to be considered by the legislature. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has submitted 136,729 valid signatures, which is 3,800 more than needed to put the measure before the legislature. 

The proposal would allow Ohioans over the age of 21 to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis as well as 15 grams of concentrates. Ohioans could also potentially grow up to six plants per person, having no more than 12 per household with more than one adult. 

Congress would tax cannabis products at 10%, with the revenue aiding social equity, job creation, addiction treatment, education and funding for dispensaries negotiating with host communities. A modest portion of the revenue will be left to the Division of Cannabis Control to fund the costs of overseeing the cannabis industry in Ohio. 

The legislature now has four months to assess and consider the campaign’s proposal. The measure could be adopted, rejected, or an amended version of the measure could be passed. If the legislature fails to enact the measure, organizers will need to gather an additional 132,887 valid signatures in order to place the issue on the November ballot.

If Ohio were to legalize marijuana this year, it would do so in opposition to Gov. Mike DeWine, who believes the use of cannabis should be reserved for those with medical diagnoses.

 During a Zoom conference with editorial board members, DeWine said, “I think it’s ridiculous to add an additional problem.” DeWine stated that he will evaluate a proposal in the Ohio General Assembly that would relax the laws governing medicinal marijuana regulations.

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, over 20,000 Ohioans per year are arrested for possession of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in Ohio would not only provide adults over the age of 21 with easier access to safe cannabis products, but it would also safeguard those who have been penalized for minor drug offenses.

The fate of the proposal now rests in the hands of the legislature until a decision can be made.

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