CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in this year’s election. One of the big issues expected to add to voter turnout is recreational marijuana.
Ohio could join 23 other states in the legalization of marijuana if voters approve Issue 2 next week. The initiative would allow adults 21 and older to use and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. It would also enact a 10% tax on marijuana sales.
Jason Friedman is the owner of Ohio CBD Guy, which is not a marijuana dispensary. Rather, it sells already legal hemp products, which means if Issue 2 is approved, his business won’t be taxed like a marijuana dispensary’s products would.
However, he says if the initiative is approved, he anticipates an initial drop in business as the market for CBD and marijuana products would change and become more competitive.
Even so, he says he’s in support of the legalization of recreational marijuana. He says it would make the products more safe and more accessible to adults who use it.
“Even though we don’t sell marijuana products here in our store, we sell cannabis products and anything tat can be done to make this more accessible to the people that need it as an alternative to pharmaceuticals is a positive thing in my mind,” said Friedman.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, if approved, all money from that 10% marijuana tax is planned to go to different funds for cannabis control, social equity, jobs, and substance abuse and addiction services.
But some argue the legalization of recreational marijuana could be more dangerous, not less, and that the 10% tax would not be enough of a benefit.
Some argue approving Issue 2 would mean an increase in minors’ exposure to marijuana.
Though Issue 2 only allows adults 21 and over to possess and purchase, some fear its legalization could lead to issues created similarly by alcohol, like driving under the influence.
Lisa Mertz of the Addiction Services Council also says that cannabis use disorder affects nine to ten percent of the population.
“Just like alcohol, kids ingest it thinking it’s not going to be a problem. The thing with juveniles is when they use marijuana before the age of seventeen their incidents of addiction increases tremendously,” said Mertz.
Voters will make their voices heard on the matter on Tuesday, November 7.
CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in this year’s election. One of the big issues expected to add to voter turnout Read More