Ohio Lawmakers Must Consider Cannabis Legalization Bill

Following advocates’ successful push for the state’s initiated statute process, Ohio lawmakers now have four months to consider a cannabis legalization bill or the campaign could push the issue to a vote on state ballots.

Full story after the jump.

Ohio lawmakers must consider a proposal to legalize cannabis for adult use after advocates successfully submitted enough signatures as part of the state’s initiated statute process, the Columbus Dispatch reports. 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.

In a statement, campaign spokesman Tom Haren said the group is “ready and eager to work” with lawmakers to pass the reforms, which 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, with the revenues earmarked for administrative costs, addiction treatment programs, municipalities with dispensaries, and a social equity and jobs program.

“We are also fully prepared to collect additional signatures and take this issue directly to voters on November 8, 2022, if legislators fail to act.” Haren, in a statement, via the Dispatch

In a 2015 legalization effort, Ohio voters rejected a cannabis legalization initiative over concerns that the law would create a monopoly in the state.

The bill faces an uphill battle with the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Mike DeWine (R) who, in an interview earlier this month, reiterated his opposition to the reforms. The governor said his two main objections to cannabis legalization are that it would result in more children consuming infused edibles and that there would be an increase in traffic accidents caused by people driving under the influence of cannabis.

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