Preparing The Scales
As states are passing around the paper and firing up legal marijuana usage, an Ohio group is pushing the idea of allowing recreational marijuana use in their state. 10 states, including Washington DC have already approved the idea of recreational marijuana use for their civilians, and now Ohio is up in smoke.
Petitions for the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” amendment were filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Monday, March 2nd, a first step toward putting the issue in front of voters this November. Public opinion is divided on the matter.
Medical marijuana for patients with certain conditions already exist in Ohio, but the latest proposal would regulate marijuana much like alcohol. The proposal would make it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to have, use, buy, transport or transfer up to an ounce of marijuana.
Accessories would also be legal to buy, sale and transport & civilian would be allowed to grow up to six plants at home for their own use.
Tom Haren, a spokesman for the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol group, told Cannabis Dispensary that the decision to file the petitions arose in light of confusing 90-day product allotments in its medical program and a refusal by the state medical board to add qualifying conditions to the program.
Medical Marijuana & Recreation
"A lack of access for Ohioans with conditions such as anxiety and autism, and the need to provide them with product, are among those concerns about qualifying conditions" Haren says. “A number of people have had doubts for a while about this state's willingness and interest in actually providing a program that works for Ohio patients,” he says.
“It does push legislators," said Tim Johnson with the Ohio Cannabis and Hemp Chamber of Commerce. "It lets them know we still have that interest, that we are moving forward and if they can’t step up and get the medical program fixed and fully operational as it should have been a year ago, then we’re going to move forward.”
Opponents argue against recreational use for a variety of potential factors, including driving while high, increased marijuana use, and the concern that THC-based products would lead to the use of stronger and more harmful drugs, although no current medical research or leading authorites support the claim that marijuana is a "gateway drug".
Organizers said they’d want 25% of the funds generated by sales tax to go into initiatives like criminal justice reform and community investment, plus 50% that would go to the state local government fund.
The Time Bong
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has 10 days to certify the ballot language before the committee can take the next step in the process.
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