Adult-use marijuana legislation could be coming to Ohio

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Ohio lawmakers are going to consider a new recreational cannabis bill

The legalization of the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana is being proposed in a bill that will go before Ohio lawmakers for the first time. Democratic state representatives Casey Weinstein of Hudson and Terrence Upchurch of Cleveland took on the task of drafting a bill that touches on several points for legalization, including cultivation, both commercial and personal, and regulation of sales.

At the same time, it is also planned that people who were once convicted of marijuana-related offenses will be able to have their records sealed, as long as they were low-level offenders. “We’re seeing that there are dramatic economic benefits, there are medical benefits, and there’s a solid criminal justice pathway here so we can focus law enforcement on violent crime,” Weinstein said in an interview.

The two are currently seeking co-sponsors so they can back the idea in a comprehensive bill, which is considered the first to be proposed in the state aimed at implementing a regulated market for marijuana sales. “Ohio is at the point where we’re going to be behind if we don’t act now,” Weinstein said. “I hope this provides the spark we need to elevate the conversation and move this legislation forward.”

Should the bill become a reality, those 21 and older will have the ability to purchase and possess up to a maximum of five ounces of marijuana at a time, and if they choose, grow up to 12 mature plants in their home. Limits on the type or amount of marijuana businesses allowed will be set by each of the cities and towns within their borders. According to Weinstein, the model closely follows that established by Michigan, where it has so far proven to be quite effective.