Ohio Becomes 24th State To Codify Recreational Marijuana Use

(NewsReady.com) – In 2012, voters in Washington and Colorado became the first two states to approve recreational marijuana through ballot initiatives. Since then, 22 other states have followed, including the Buckeye State.

On November 7, voters in Ohio passed a recreational marijuana ballot initiative. Issue 2 allows adults over the age of 21 to use cannabis for non-medical purposes. They are allowed to grow plants at home and possess up to 2.5 ounces. The state will impose a 10% tax on all marijuana purchases. That money will pay for addiction treatment, job programs supporting the industry, administrative costs, and other expenses.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine opposed the measure and urged voters to reject it. Instead, they passed the measure, 57% to 43%. It will now take effect in 30 days. However, lawmakers can still make changes to the new law or completely repeal it if that’s what they want to do. That’s because the issue was passed as a statute rather than a constitutional amendment.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Senate President Matt Huffman (R) issued a statement after the ballot measure passed and said it was “written by the marijuana industry.” The lawmaker said state lawmakers could take up the issue “to clarify the questionable language regarding limits for THC” and other parts of the new statute.

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) also released a statement saying lawmakers have an obligation to decide how to “allocate tax revenues while responsibly regulating the industry.” He thinks the state should invest in police officer training and county jails to “make [their] communities safer.”

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in almost half of the US states, it’s still illegal on the federal level. The DEA classifies it as a Schedule I drug, in the same category as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. President Joe Biden’s administration is working on rescheduling the drug.

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