Home Politics America Ohio Pushes For Marijuana Legalization

Ohio Pushes For Marijuana Legalization

Ohio could become the next state in the union to adopt recreational marijuana legalization. In doing so, this could open up an entirely new industry for a state of nearly 12 million people.

1

Ohio legalization cannabis

A majority of voters in Ohio reflect the opinions of most American voters. According to a new poll, a recent USA Today Network and Suffolk University poll found that 58.6 percent of the respondents believe recreational marijuana should be legal to buy and possess for adults aged 21 years or older. Only 35 percent say that they are opposed, with 6 percent saying that they are undecided. This is noteworthy given Ohio’s status as a swing state that has gone toward the Republicans the following two national presidential elections.

76 percent of Ohio voters aged 18 to 34 believe that they support recreational marijuana use.

“The statewide survey of 500 Ohio voters was conducted July 9-12 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were planning to vote in the 2024 presidential election,” reads a press release discussing the survey’s methodology published by the Suffolk University Political Research Center. Pollster David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, added that “each area’s quota and demographic information—including party affiliation, gender, race, and age—was determined from 2020 exit polls and American Community Survey census data.”

Broad support

The margin of error for the public opinion poll is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, according to a Columbus Dispatch article reporting the results of the Suffolk survey. The Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Canton Repository, and several other newspapers are affiliated with the USA Today Network and the flagship newspaper, USA Today, which is additionally owned by the publicly-traded newspaper giant Gannett.

National polling indicates that the vast majority of American voters support marijuana legalization on a national scale.

76 percent of Ohio voters aged 18 to 34 believe that they support recreational marijuana use as compared to just 43 percent for those over the age of 65 years old. 77 percent of Ohio Democrats, 63 percent of voters identified as political independents, and 40 percent of Ohio Republicans support recreational marijuana legalization. 76 percent of those who are polled and are identified as people of color and non-white also support legalization.

National polling indicates that the vast majority of American voters support marijuana legalization on a national scale. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in late 2022 found that 88 percent of U.S. adults either believe marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use by adults—59 percent believe recreational marijuana should be legal and 30 percent believe marijuana should only be legal for medicinal use. Only about 10 percent, or on-in-ten Americans, believe that marijuana should not be legal whatsoever.

Keeping up the fight

Considering these polls and the sentiment of the majority of voters in the Buckeye State, it is likely that recreational marijuana could be legalized across the state. The poll that conducted by Suffolk University and the USA Today Network as political activists were out gathering signatures to place a ballot measure that would regulate marijuana like alcohol in front of voters for the upcoming election in November 2023. At the time of this writing, the Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (the state’s chief election official) gave those behind the campaign an extra ten days, or up until August 4, to gather the necessary signatures required to be considered for the ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, organizers behind the ballot measure, were short by 679 signatures of the 124,046 signatures required to put the legalization question on the November 7 ballot.

The benefits of legal marijuana in Ohio outweigh the costs.

Given the slim margin, it isn’t far-fetched to infer that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will be able to secure its spot on the ballot and engage in electioneering and political campaigning that will be worth millions of dollars. Critics of the legalization efforts are likely to be socially conservative Republicans who are currently in power in Columbus, the state capital city, and political action committees that represent professional groups and associations for law enforcement agencies and groups that continue to perpetrate the deadly war on drugs. An analysis of the petition’s text allows adults 21 years and older to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of recreational cannabis to grow their plants at home. A 10 percent tax would also be levied under the measure to support administrative costs in setting up the regulatory framework, implementing addiction treatment interventions, and ensuring social equity and job programs for the industry. The legalization measure would also establish a “Division of Cannabis Control” in the state’s Department of Commerce.

The mechanics of the measure

This new agency would be granted the authority to “license, regulate, investigate, and penalize adult-use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories, and individuals required to be licensed,” highlights an analysis by Marijuana Moment senior editor Kyle Jaeger.

Legalization could undermine the black market for marijuana

The Associated Press points out that Ohio would become the 24th state in the union to legalize recreational cannabis for regulated adult use. Medicinal marijuana was legalized by an act of the Ohio state legislature in 2016. The first medicinal dispensaries first opened in 2019. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol only requires a simple majority vote for it to pass and become law. Secretary LaRose submitted similar petitions to the Ohio state legislature on behalf of the coalition in January 2022. This led to Republican lawmakers not acting, which resulted in a lawsuit. The lawsuit ensued into a settlement under which the group agreed to wait until this year to press for legalization.

Benefits outweigh costs

The benefits of legal marijuana in Ohio outweigh the costs. A legal cannabis industry could create jobs in the cultivation, processing, distribution, and retail sectors, providing employment opportunities for Ohio residents. Legalization may lead to reduced law enforcement expenses related to prosecuting and incarcerating individuals for marijuana-related offenses. This could free up resources to focus on more serious crimes. With legal marijuana, there is better control over product quality, dosage, and safety standards, reducing the risk of harmful substances and contaminated products that could occur in an unregulated market. Legalization additionally permits for government regulation and testing of marijuana products, ensuring consumers receive a safe and reliable product.

Legalization could undermine the black market for marijuana, making it harder for criminal organizations to profit from illegal sales. Some argue that adults should have the freedom to make their own choices regarding marijuana consumption as long as it does not harm others. There is also the benefit of new tax revenue and economic benefits.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get news and current headlines about vaping every Friday.

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
9 months ago

Legalize federally now. What’s legal to possess and consume in nearly half of The United States should not make you a criminal in states still being governed by woefully ignorant prohibitionist politicians.

Cannabis consumers in all states deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

Plain and simple!

Legalize Nationwide Federally Now!

It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national cannabis policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-cannabis, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

Politicians who continue to demonize Cannabis, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Cannabis possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through cannabis home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose cannabis, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

The People have spoken! Get on-board with Cannabis Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

The “War on Cannabis” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our yearly tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Cannabis”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. Especially now, due to Covid-19. It’s a no brainer.

The Prohibition of Cannabis has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records. Especially, if they happen to be of the “wrong” skin color or they happen to be from the “wrong” neighborhood. Which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

Cannabis is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less cannabis “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

Legalize Nationwide Federally Now! Support Each and Every Cannabis Legalization Initiative!