CINCINNATI — It’s official — the Associated Press reports that voters have passed Ohio Issue 2, legalizing and setting regulations for recreational cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.
This makes Ohio the 24th state to allow adults to use cannabis recreationally.
Ohio Issue 2 – Marijuana
Wed Nov 8 – As of 10:30am
|Ohio Issue 2 – Marijuana|
100% of Precincts reporting
The conclusion of the vote followed a nearly two-year push by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which surmounted administrative, legal and legislative hurdles to put the citizen-initiated statute before voters.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine opposed it, citing traffic safety concerns, among other things. Some of the state’s most influential business and manufacturing organizations also worked against the measure, citing concerns that workplace safety would deteriorate, absenteeism would rise and workers’ compensation rates would be driven up.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol argued that it’s time Ohio legalizes and regulates the cultivation, manufacturing, testing and sales of marijuana and marijuana products for adults 21 and older. Proponents say the measure will return tax revenue for pot purchases now going to neighboring states where it’s legal, and help thwart the black market.
So now what?
Well, it’s not going to be legal to consume marijuana for recreational purposes right away — so don’t get too excited. The ballot language says that Issue 2 will officially go into effect 30 days after the election — on Dec. 7.
It also may not be set in stone.
Issue 2 is a state law, not a constitutional amendment — which means legislators can still tweak it, or repeal it altogether.
GOP Senate President Matt Huffman stood firm against the proposal and has suggested lawmakers may try to rewrite or even repeal it.
The law legalizes and regulates recreational cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older, similar to alcohol laws. Individual Ohioans will also be able to grow up to six plants but up to 12 per household. This is one difference from the 2015 proposal, which would have only allowed 10 growing locations.
This proposal would also impose a 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction, which activists say would raise $350 to $400 million in new tax revenue annually.
Opponents argued the taxes collected will benefit the marijuana industry more than Ohio’s budget.
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.