Marijuana reform in the State of Ohio:
Despite a favorable public opinion, marijuana reform in Ohio took a hit last election. Reform for recreational and medical marijuana were on the ballot, but voters chose not to move in that direction. The Ohio legalization initiative faltered as voters decided that the business end of the deal seemed less than ideal. Voters in Ohio were afraid that a vote for marijuana reform would have been a vote to empower specific business persons and landowners with the rights to grow and cultivate the marijuana. Voters were afraid that a monopoly would have resulted and therefore voted down the marijuana reform legislation. Despite this outcome, marijuana reform in Ohio continues to move forward.
Public Opinion is Still Favorable in the State of Ohio:
Fear of empowering a monopoly in the business of growing and selling recreational and medical marijuana in the state of Ohio is what soured the public on marijuana reform in the most recent election. Strong support for marijuana reform still exists in the state though, and voters are being cautiously selective regarding the foundation that is put into place once legalization is granted. Even current state Attorney General recently relayed that medical marijuana legalization is likely to happen soon. Attorney General, Mike DeWine, believes that reform will happen efficiently once more research data is presented. Additional ballot initiatives are already being considered for a future vote. The push to reform the marijuana law in the state is far from over.
Ballot Considerations Coming for a Future Vote:
Although voters just recently voted down marijuana reform law earlier this month, new legislation will likely be presented as early as next year. Groups, including ResponsibleOhio and LegalizeOhioh2016, are working on legislative wording to submit. For instance, LegalizeOhio2016 is working on a proposal that would create a free market for growers in the state. Growers would have to pass a background check and pay a commercial licensing fee of approximately $5,000 in order to grow marijuana in the state. Home growers would be allowed to have six plants in their home at any one time per resident without exceeding 12 total plants for the residence. The state would also likely put a ceiling on the number of grow sites in the state and rules would be established regarding proximity to places like schools and day care facilities. This type of system is better structured because it avoids the monopoly pitfalls of the most recent legislation. Voters would likely be more agreeable to legislation that does not give too much power to any particular group of growers or landowners.