Ohio votes to legalize recreational marijuana
Ohioans have voted to legalize recreational marijuana usage for those 21 and older.
What's happening: AP called the race with early votes plus about half of Ohio's precincts reporting, with roughly 55% in favor of legalization.
State of play: The new law allows those of age to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in most forms and grow up to six plants at home, with a household max of 12 plants.
- Sales will be taxed at 10%, with proceeds mostly going toward addiction services, communities with cannabis facilities and a "cannabis social equity and jobs fund."
Yes, but: The public's vote is not the final word on marijuana legalization.
- This was an initiative, not a constitutional amendment — meaning state lawmakers can adjust or even repeal the law.
- State Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says the legislature will review the law and potentially change its tax proceeds.
What they're saying: The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the ballot issue, said the result shows "Ohio voters are clear on the future they want for our state: adult-use marijuana legal and regulated!"
The big picture: The law will go into effect in 30 days.
- If it stands without legislative interference, Ohio would join 23 other states where recreational marijuana is legal.
- A previous legalization initiative failed here in 2015 by a nearly 2-1 ratio.
Between the lines: The result does not necessarily render the medical marijuana program moot.
- The state will issue initial business licenses within nine months to cultivators, processors and dispensaries already in operation, with more to come as the demand for recreational products develops.