Ohio Voters Could Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Just Two Weeks

In two weeks and a day, on November 7, Ohio voters will decide the fate of Issue 2.

If approved by voters, Issue 2 would legalize the personal possession of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. This would apply to those 21 and older, who would also be allowed to cultivate marijuana at a private residence in an enclosed location.

Issue 2 would establish a system of licensed, taxed and regulated marijuana businesses and retail outlets, overseen by a newly-created Division of Cannabis Control (a branch of the Department of Commerce). The state would be required to issue at least 50 marijuana retail licenses, although the Division of Cannabis Control has the authority to issue more than that.

Polling released last week found that 57% of likely Ohio voters plan to vote “Yes” on Issue 2. Polling released in August found that 59% of Ohio voters support legalizing marijuana, and a separate poll released last month found that support for marijuana legalization among likely Ohio voters was even higher at 67%.

Earlier this month the full Ohio Senate has passed a resolution encouraging voters to reject Issue 2 . Speaking on the Senate floor, Senate President Matt Huffman said that if voters approve Issue 2, it will be “coming right back before this body”, indicating the measure and its provisions could be altered or even repealed.

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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