Reps say Ohio needs to legalize marijuana

Larry Limpf

Saying it’s time for the state to lead the nation in reforming marijuana laws, two Ohio legislators are sponsoring a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
State representatives Casey Weinstein, D – Hudson, and Terrence Upchurch, D – Cleveland, are introducing the bill, which will have four components covering decriminalization, a marijuana excise tax, commerce and licensing and medical marijuana.
“It’s time to lead Ohio forward,” said Rep. Weinstein. “This is a big step for criminal justice reform, for our veterans, for economic opportunity, and for our individual liberties.
The bill would levy an excise tax of 10 percent on a marijuana retailer’s or microbusiness’ gross receipts from the sale of marijuana.
The tax revenues would be distributed to primary and secondary education and the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges. In addition, up to $20 million annually for two years would be used for clinical trials researching the efficacy of marijuana in treating the medical conditions of veterans and preventing veteran suicide.
“This bill is much needed in Ohio, and it’s time for Ohio to become a national leader in marijuana decriminalization and legalization. This bill is more than just about legalization, it’s about economic and workforce development, it’s about healthcare. The time is now, and I look forward to getting this done in a bipartisan fashion,” said Rep. Upchurch.
The bill would allow for adult cultivation and possession of marijuana and allows for the expungement of conviction records for previous cultivation and possession offenses.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of cannabis for adult recreational use.
In late June, Connecticut became the latest state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis with the passage of Senate Bill 1201. Some aspects of the bill do not take effect immediately, but those 21 years old and higher were able to recreationally use cannabis starting July 1.
On April 7, Virginia's legislature accepted the governor's recommended amendments for a significantly speedier implementation window for a bill which would legalize recreational cannabis use in the state and establish a regulated commercial market.
New York legalized cannabis with a bill passed during the legislature’s 2021 session.
On March 30, New Mexico's legislature introduced its Cannabis Regulation Act within their first special session. The bill has been signed by the governor.
In the 2020 elections, South Dakota voters passed Constitutional Amendment A. Shortly after the amendment passed, it was challenged in court. On Feb. 8, a circuit court judge ruled the measure was unconstitutional.
In Ohio, House Bill 523 went into effect in September 2016 and legalized medical marijuana. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program allows people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association