O-HIGH-O! Red-leaning Ohio becomes 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana – against the wishes of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine

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O-HIGH-O! Red-leaning Ohio becomes 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana – against the wishes of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio voters have passed a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana in their state, joining a trend of more conservative states allowing c

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Ohio voters have passed a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana in their state, joining a trend of more conservative states allowing cannabis use for fun.  

The Buckeye State will be the 24th state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana, NBC News projected.

New legislation would allows adults 21 and over to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to grow plants at home.

A ten percent tax would be imposed on purchases, with proceeds going to administrative costs, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries, and social equity and jobs programs.

Legalization follows a nearly two-year push by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which surmounted administrative, legal and legislative hurdles to put the citizen-initiated statute before voters. 

A cannabis plant that is close to harvest grows in a grow room at the Greenleaf Medical Cannabis facility in Richmond, Virginia , June 17, 2021. Recreational marijuana will be legal in 24 states if the measure passes in Ohio

A cannabis plant that is close to harvest grows in a grow room at the Greenleaf Medical Cannabis facility in Richmond, Virginia , June 17, 2021. Recreational marijuana will be legal in 24 states if the measure passes in Ohio

A cannabis plant that is close to harvest grows in a grow room at the Greenleaf Medical Cannabis facility in Richmond, Virginia , June 17, 2021. Recreational marijuana will be legal in 24 states if the measure passes in Ohio

It will also add to the trend of more conservative states establishing adult-use markets, with Montana and Missouri backing legalization in recent years.

First, the proposal went to the Republican-dominated Legislature, which was given four months to pass it. With many majority lawmakers opposed, they refused.

GOP Senate President Matt Huffman stood firm against the proposal and has suggested lawmakers may try to rewrite, or even repeal, should it pass.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also opposed it, citing traffic safety concerns, among other things.

Some of the state’s most influential business and manufacturing organizations also worked against the measure, citing concerns that workplace safety would deteriorate, absenteeism would rise and workers’ compensation rates would be driven up.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol argued that it’s time Ohio legalizes and regulates cultivation, manufacturing, testing and sales of marijuana and marijuana products for adults 21 and older.

Proponents say the measure will return tax revenue for pot purchases now going to neighboring states where it’s legal, and help thwart the black market.

They have touted their proposal as ‘fixing a broken system,’ while assuring localities where dispensaries are situated maintain some control over the system and reap a portion of the proceeds.

Opponents say the taxes collected will benefit the marijuana industry more than Ohio’s budget.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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