Ohio Voters to Decide on Marijuana Legalization This Fall

Politics
Ohio Voters to Decide on Marijuana Legalization This Fall

The controversial legalization plan from the group ResponsibleOhio is officially on the Ohio statewide ballot this November, where voters will get the chance to finally have their say in the matter.

We have written extensively on the plan over the last several months and I’m sure there will plenty more to report over the next three months. The controversy over the plan stems from its commercial growing restrictions that will limit the growing for sale to 10 sites owned by the investor groups footing the bill to get the measure passed. Although comparable to other legalization measures in every other way, this aspect of RO’s plan has created a ton of vocal and negative feedback from some in the cannabis community.

But what the plan does do is allow for legal possession by adults, legal retail sales and limited home growing. It also allows for medical marijuana — something Ohio still does not have.

Some would say Ohio should wait for a better plan in some future election. Groups are already attempting to get plans put on the 2016 ballot that would far exceed the limits proposed by RO. What those groups lack so far is money and signatures, so the chances of them being successful are not great, especially when you factor in that many people who do not use cannabis are spooked when they hear about huge limits for things like home growing and sales. Ohioans to End Prohibition have a much better plan, but are they able to win? 

In the end, the RO plan will increase freedom for cannabis users, cause less of them to go to jail, let the sick access medical marijuana and decrease prohibition. These are things we all used to say we are for. Now there are some in the cannabis community who say that is not enough. They say it's better to wait.

To be fair, there was cannabis community opposition to I-502 in Washington and Amendment 64 in Colorado. They said those plans didn’t go far enough. Should the people in WA and CO still be waiting for better plans?