Two Ohio lawmakers have introduced legislation proposed by the campaign seeking to legalize cannabis in the state, The Center Square reports. The bill’s introduction comes after advocates successfully submitted enough signatures to trigger the state’s initiated statute process.
Under the initiated statute process, once a campaign submits enough signatures, the Legislature has four months to pass the bill, or an amended version, and if they fail to do so, the campaign – the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol – can collect another 132,887 valid signatures to put the issue to voters. The group submitted the petition language and the required signatures on January 28.
State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D), one of the lawmakers supporting the bill, said that cannabis legalization in Ohio is “overdue.”
“The hundreds of thousands of Ohio voters who signed this petition – and millions more who support legalization statewide – asked for action from our legislature. Instead, GOP leaders have ignored them.” – Weinstein to Center Square
State Rep. Terrence Upchurch (D), who is also sponsoring the legislation, said cannabis legalization “would create good-paying jobs and generate significant revenue” for the Buckeye State.
“We must listen to the overwhelming support from voters and take action to finally legalize cannabis in Ohio,” Upchurch told Center Square.
The duo had previously filed a cannabis legalization bill in July 2021 – the first legislative effort to enact the reforms in the state – but the proposal stalled in the House Finance Committee.
The bill proposed by the campaign would allow individuals 21-and-older to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, 15 grams of concentrates, and grow up to six plants per adult, with no more than 12 per household. The proposal includes a 10% tax on sales, with the revenues earmarked for administrative costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities with dispensaries, and a social equity and jobs program.
If the General Assembly fails to act and pass the language within the four-month deadline outlined by the Ohio Constitution, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has the option to collect additional signatures to submit the proposal for voters to vote on in November.
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