Joining 23 other states who are reaping in more tax revenue, less illegal drug market and more help for the medically fragile, Ohio voters go for legal marijuana. For the first time, 52% of Americans live in a legal cannabis state. And Pew Research says 90% of citizens believe cannabis should be legal in some form.
According to BDSA, a leading cannabis data analyst firm “despite having only a few years of legal sales under its belt, the Ohio cannabis market has exhibited strong early growth that indicates continued expansion for the future. BDSA projects that Ohio will launch adult-use cannabis in 2025, contributing an estimated $300 million in that year alone.”
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Like alcohol, marijuana is popular for with a majority, but unlike alcohol, it has clear medical benefits including a clear alternative pain relief solution from opioids. It has also shown clear promise with PTSD. With 7.5% of Ohio being veterans or their family, this is positive health news.
“Marijuana is no longer a controversial issue,” said Tom Haren, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Ohioans demonstrated this by passing State Issue 2 in a landslide. Ohioans are being extremely clear on the future they want for our state: adult-use marijuana legal and regulated.”
As a citizen-initiated statute, the law is subject to change. The GOP Legislature, who opposed the popular move, are able to make changes to the law, or repeal it. It will be interesting to see if elected officials listen to the voting public or prefer to move Ohio to a nanny state like Florida.
Ohio Republican leaders who failed to convince Ohioans that legal marijuana will endanger children, increase traffic accidents and create headaches for employers trying to hire. Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, and House Speaker Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill, have indicated the Legislature will look at the new law and make changes.
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As with some states, there is still a a hard road ahead, but it looks like, mid-term, voters will get what they requested.