(RepublicanPress.org) – Ohio voters headed to the polling stations on November 7 to cast their ballots for local and county officials. They also voted to pass an initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
Ohio Voters Approve Initiative Legalizing Marijuana Use
Voters across the Buckeye State passed Ohio Issue 2 by a margin of roughly 2.1 million to 1.6 million ballots, or 56.71% to 43.29%. The initiative allows residents 21 and older to purchase, possess, and grow marijuana for recreational purposes.
Qualified adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in any form except extract. They can also grow as many as six cannabis plants per person, up to 12 per household.
Since the measure is an initiated statute, the new law won’t go into effect for 30 days. Additionally, state lawmakers can propose potential changes to it.
Ohio joins 23 other states that have previously approved the recreational use of cannabis for adults. Colorado and Washington became the nation’s first two states to do so in 2012.
The state will impose a 10% tax on marijuana purchases. The revenue is slated to go to municipal governments with dispensaries that have social equity and jobs programs supporting the cannabis industry. Likewise, the funds will cover administrative costs associated with the law’s passage and addiction treatment programs.
Passage of Issue 2 also creates the Division of Cannabis Control. The new agency will operate within Ohio’s Commerce Department and will oversee the determination of how and where recreational marijuana will be sold within the state.
Ohioans Vote To Amend State Constitution To Include Abortion Rights
Ohioans also cast their ballots on a constitutional amendment concerning women’s reproductive decisions. Similar to the passage of Issue 2, they voted in favor of Ohio Issue 1, the Right To Make Reproductive Decisions Amendment, by a margin of 56.27% to 43.73%. The measure enacts Section 22 of Article I of Ohio’s constitution. The revision establishes an individual’s right to make their own decisions regarding “reproductive medical treatment, including… abortion.” The update also protects any entity or individual that helps a person receive an abortion and other reproductive services.
Additionally, the passage of Issue 1 bars state officials from indirectly or directly prohibiting, penalizing, or burdening abortion “before an unborn child is determined to be viable.” Similarly, it allows a woman to have an abortion at any stage of pregnancy if the procedure is necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.
However, the measure does allow the state to prohibit an abortion after a woman’s attending physician determines the unborn child is viable and doesn’t consider the procedure necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s health or life.
Like Issue 2, the constitutional amendment takes effect 30 days after the election.
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