OHIO – Ohio voters have approved a ballot proposal legalizing recreational cannabis on Tuesday, becoming the 24th state to do so for non-medical use.
According to PBS, issue 2’s passage allows adults aged 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow plants at home, subject to a 10% tax allocation. The tax revenue is slated for administrative costs, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries, and social equity and job programs tied to the industry.
The election’s outcome delivers a blow to GOP lawmakers, Republican Governor Mike DeWine, and business and manufacturing groups concerned about workplace and traffic safety.
Critics also highlight concerns about the tax structure, which neglects to allocate earnings to Ohio counties for social services programs addressing drug use, addiction, and related issues resulting from the new law’s passage.
For the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, voter approval represents the culmination of a years-long battle to enact the proposal.
The journey began when GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose submitted petitions to the Ohio General Assembly on behalf of the coalition in January 2022. Lawmakers failed to act, and a lawsuit and settlement followed. As a citizen-initiated statute, the law’s future remains uncertain, with Republicans retaining the option to amend or repeal it, with higher political stakes now that it has received voter approval.
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