Republican lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would legalize cannabis in Ohio’s House of Representatives, according to reports. Under the proposed bill, adults over 21 would be allowed to purchase and posses marijuana, according to Marijuana Moment.
The bill’s co-sponsors are Reps. Jamie Callender and Ron Ferguson, would also lead to regulations for the licensing of marijuana cultivation and retail. The program would be structured as an expansion of Ohio’s existing medical marijuana program.
At a press conference, Callender said that “It’s about personal freedom, it’s about moving the state and the country forward. It’s about going where people are going anyway.”
Callender also touted the success of the state’s medical marijuana program, and noted that several nearby states have successfully legalized marijuana and can be a source for inspiration. He also expressed a preference for states to regulate marijuana before the federal government does so, and before local governments forgo enforcement.
Marijuana Moment added that this is the second state-level push by Republicans to legalize cannabis; the other recent push took place in neighboring Pennsylvania.
Both Marijuana Moment and MJBizDaily noted that the bill has difficulties ahead; Gov, Mike DeWine does not support legalization, and according to Marijuana Moment, “House Speaker Robert Cupp (R) laughed when he was asked about Callender’s legislation earlier on Tuesday, adding,’Let’s just see where it goes. I haven’t read it yet.'”
The News-Herald reported that the bill would result in a 10% sales tax on marijuana sales.