Adult-use marijuana could be on the 2022 ballot in Ohio. Who is behind the most recent effort?
As the perceptions of marijuana change, so do the laws surrounding it. After seeing nearby Michigan and Illinois move forward with full legalization of recreational marijuana use, Ohio cannabis users have eagerly anticipated the same legalization arriving in the Buckeye state.
Since the State of Ohio moved forward with the legalization of medical marijuana, lots of Ohio cannabis consumers have secured a medical marijuana card allowing them to purchase products at designated dispensaries across the State. On the other hand, Ohio cannabis users without a medical card still face harmful consequences for marijuana consumption and possession. Taking that into consideration, to say that legal marijuana would be welcome in Ohio would be an understatement.
Fortunately for Ohio cannabis users, lawmakers are well aware of voters’ interest in adult-use recreational legalization. In July of 2021, State legislators representing Northeast Ohio drafted a bill which would allow adults 21 and over to purchase and possess up to five ounces of marijuana for recreational consumption.
The timing of that legislation just so happened to coincide with a group known as the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitting summary language of their statute to the Attorney General’s office. Naturally, the announcement of the coalition along with their subsequent plans piqued the curiosity of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana users alike. Get the facts about the coalition below.
What Are the Coalition's Origins?
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol played a crucial role in helping to bring legal marijuana to both Colorado and Alaska. It’s organized at the state level, and consists of ballot committees capable of accepting contributions and making spending decisions to support or oppose other ballot measures. The coalition stems from the marijuana policy project’s goals of supporting and organizing state-level marijuana legalization efforts.
Although the coalition is primarily focused on state-level efforts, they’re actively lobbying against marijuana prohibition at the federal level, too. The marijuana policy project, which has been in operation since 1995 is responsible for a significant amount of medical marijuana and adult recreational marijuana legalization victories. The project now boasts over 40,000 members across the globe. Their members are primarily responsible for donating the Marijuana Policy Project the funds needed to fight for legalization efforts.
Who Are The Ohio Cannabis Activists Involved With The Coalition?
As with any political coalition, understanding who’s involved can play a major role in whether or not voters support their measure. For the most part, the media recognizes the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol simply as a group of Ohio cannabis activists. Some digging reveals the involvement of Cleveland attorney Tom Haren who has been involved with Ohio cannabis legalization efforts in the past. The coalition won’t be formally required to reveal their funding sources until October, but he did reveal that it is being supported by businesses “related” to the marijuana industry.
According to state disclosure filings, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has involved multiple firms to help secure the passage of the ballot measure. The group tapped a Texas-based company to assist in its statewide effort to collect petition signatures, along with two Columbus-based firms that work on issue campaigns. The involvement of the multiple firms leads experts to conclude that the coalition is well funded, and ready to avoid the fate of previous failing Ohio cannabis legalization efforts.
What is Their Plan For Ohio Cannabis Legalization?
The Coalition to Regulate Alcohol like Marijuana’s primary mission is to end the long, failing war on drugs in the Buckeye State. They would accomplish that by legalizing marijuana possession for adults 21 and over, while allowing up to 6 plants per person and 12 plants per household.
Additionally, the legislation proposed by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol allows medical marijuana dispensaries to expand their footprint into the recreational marketplace. Along with ending the war on drugs, their plan helps provide the communities most affected by it with an opportunity to cash in. On top of local sales taxes, this Ohio cannabis legalization measure will call for a 10% tax on all recreational sales which would provide revenue for a social equity and jobs fund to support diverse job candidates within the industry. There’s additional allocation for a substance abuse and addiction fund, along with a fund designed to nurture the communities that choose to host recreational cannabis dispensaries.
While putting a long overdue end to the war on drugs is the primary focus of the coalition, the group prides itself on putting forth a complete framework for the rollout of legal marijuana that works for all Ohioans.
If Passed, When Will Their Plans for Recreational Marijuana Legalization Take Effect?
Another point of pride for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is the fact that they aren’t beating around the bush. The group was just given the approval to start collecting signatures last month, but they’re aiming to make it onto the ballot in time for the November 2022 elections.
While it’s a realistic possibility for the group to achieve, it’s still not set in stone that it’ll make the ballot or that the voters in the State of Ohio will approve the measure. If voters do pass the initiative, Ohio cannabis consumers could still be left waiting for months, or even years for a dispensary near them to open.
That’s why it’s crucial for Ohio cannabis users to get the facts about medical marijuana in Ohio. Medical marijuana has been legalized in Ohio since 2016, and it's the best way for Ohio cannabis users to get the products they need legally.
Bypassing getting your medical marijuana card in hopes of seeing adult-use recreational marijuana laws come to fruition could be a costly mistake leading to court dates, hefty fines and employment problems. If you’re curious about whether or not you’ll qualify for medical marijuana in Ohio, get your questions answered today by a certified professional dedicated to providing you with the insight you need.
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Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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