Ohio Republican Representatives Jamie Callender (R-Concord) and Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) said Tuesday they will introduce a bill that allows Ohioans to use marijuana for personal use.
In the bill, any Ohio resident who is 21 or older to “buy, possess and grow” marijuana in the state. People would only be allowed to have up to five ounces of marijuana and grow six plants, according to cincinnati.com.
Callender said that this will be the first time an Ohio state Republican has introduced this type of legislation, the Statehouse News Bureau reported.
This bill, which will be introduced later this year, will tax marijuana sales at 10 percent. Half of the revenue Ohio makes will go to the state’s general fund and the other half will be split “between law enforcement and mental health and addiction treatment,” cincinatti.com said.
“We all know our economy is kind of precarious right now, and we’re not sure where we’re going, and having that extra funding going into the general revenue fund would give the legislature more financial flexibility,” Callender said, according to cincinnati.com.
When this bill is proposed, it will be the second piece of marijuana legislation introduced this year. Democrats put forward a bill in July that would allow personal usage of marijuana for Ohioans 21 or older. In the Democrats bill, marijuana sales would also be taxed at 10 percent, but the revenue the state makes from the sales would go to education and infrastructure.
Even though Callender plans on introducing his bill, he said it faces a tough time getting passed in the GOP-controlled Ohio Legislature.
“There’s some real strong arguments that we’re in a different time now than we were, we know a lot more and quite frankly society is in a different place than it was 20 years ago,” Callender said, the Statehouse News Bureau reported.
If the Ohio Legislature were to pass marijuana legislation, the bill might be vetoed by Gov. Mike DeWine who has had a long history of being against legalizing marijuana for personal use.
Gov. Mike DeWine said in an interview last year that he is opposed to legalizing marijuana for personal usage.
“It would really be a mistake for Ohio, by legislation, to say that marijuana for adults is just ok,” he said.
DeWine is concerned about the potential health risks marijuana would have on young people if it became legal.
When DeWine as Ohio’s attorney general, he opposed Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative that would have legalized recreational marijuana. The proposed initiative failed as almost 64 percent of Ohioans voted against it six years ago.
Ohioans have another chance to pass an initiative that tries to legalize marijuana for personal usage in Ohio. In August, Attorney General Dave Yost certified the proposed statute to expand “legal marijuana in Ohio.” After Yost approved the initiative’s language, the Ohio Ballot Board determined Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol could start gathering signatures, the Marijuana Moment reported.
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