After Election Day this Tuesday, Ohio voters have approved ballot Issue 2, officially making Ohio the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Issue 2 allowed Ohio residents to vote for people ages 21 and over to use, grow and sell marijuana under a state imposed regulation and tax program. Since the ballot measure was passed by the citizens, it will take effect in 30 days.
This is not Ohio’s first go-around with marijuana, as they legalized medical marijuana in 2016. With over 3 dozen states to have legalized medical use of marijuana, ballots for voters in Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota and other states may see a measure to pass recreational marijuana in 2024.
Many who are pro-legalization have compared regulated marijuana to alcohol, which has been widely available and in abundance country-wide since prohibition. Those against legalization in Ohio aired ads featuring law enforcement officers telling viewers that with this ballot measure, marijuana sellers would not be able to be stopped from marketing edible marijuana products as candy to sell to children.
Despite these claims, it is clear that the ballot measure does come with regulations and other laws to keep recreational use of marijuana in check. It is also clear that the citizens of Ohio did not fall for the slanderous ad, since the ballot measure passed anyway. All across the country laws are being loosened around marijuana, and Ohio has just made another large step in the fight.