Ohio Senate Passes Resolution Urging Voters to Reject Marijuana Legalization Initiative

The full Ohio Senate has passed a resolution encouraging voters to reject an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana that will be voted on next month.

Senate Resolution 216 was filed by Senators Mark Romanchuk and Terry Johnson with 14 cosponsors, all Republicans.

“[Issue 2] does not serve the best interests of the people of Ohio, will bring unacceptable threats and risks to the health of all Ohioans, especially children, will create dangers in the workplace and unacceptable challenges and costs to employers, will make Ohio’s roads more dangerous, will impose significant new, unfunded costs to Ohio’s public social services, and serves only to advance the financial interests of the commercial marijuana industry and its investors”, states the resolution.

If passed into law, Issue 2 would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older. They would be allowed to possess of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates, and they could legally grow up to six mature marijuana plants.

Issue 2 would also establish a Division of Cannabis Control, as part of the Department of Commerce, with the authority to “license, regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories, and individuals required to be licensed.” The state would be required to issue at least 50 licenses for marijuana retail outlets.

Polling released last month by Fallon Research & Communications found that 59% of Ohio voters support legalizing marijuana with 32% opposed and just 9% undecided. A poll released last week by FM3 Research found that support for marijuana legalization among likely Ohio voters was even higher at 67%.

According to a recently released report, the state could gain up to $403 million in new tax revenue from the legal distribution of marijuana and marijuana products to those 21 and older.

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