In November 2018, Michigan became the 10th state in general to legalize marijuana for adults and the first Midwest state to do so.
It is no secret that since this happened, our Ohio neighbors have been crossing borders to purchase cannabis at Michigan dispensaries. But this year, Ohio is on deck to potentially legalize recreational marijuana.
Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose reintroduced an act (that was removed from last year’s ballot) to legalize the use of cannabis.
If the Statehouse does not adopt the measure, the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative may appear on Ohio’s ballot.
The initiative proposes legalizing recreational marijuana use for people 21 years or older and authorizes adults the ability to legally possess 15 grams of marijuana concentrates and 2.5oz of cannabis.
For those interested in growing cannabis plants, an individual could have six at home, and a household can have up to twelve plants.
Republicans in Ohio are opposing the act. In the past, two other attempts to legalize cannabis have been stalled.
Therefore, moving forward with an initiative on the ballot as the best way to legalize marijuana in Ohio seems most likely.
In 2015 marijuana was on the ballot and was rejected by 65% of voters, but those supporting the initiative for 2023 are far more hopeful of a different result this time around.
With this initiative, Ohio would look at a 10% cannabis tax and put the revenue toward “a cannabis social equity and jobs program” to “provide financial assistance and license application support to individuals most directly and adversely impacted by the enforcement of marijuana-related laws.”
For folk concerned that legalizing marijuana could increase people struggling with substance abuse, the program would also financially support a substance abuse and addiction fund and the , and the Division of Cannabis Control (established by the initiative to oversee the state’s cannabis industry).