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It’s been a controversial topic for years, whether or not to legalize marijuana in the United States. Finally in the state of Ohio, residents just might see the law passed. This past Saturday, the “Ohio and Local Cleveland chapters of NORML (The National Organization for Reformation of Marijuana Laws) made two proposals, one involving the recreational use of marijuana, and the other involving the use of the drug for medicinal purposes,” according to ‘The Cleveland Leader’.
The first proposal would include legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. This is referred to as the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012. This amendment would be carried out similar to the state of Ohio’s Liquor Control system. An ‘Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control’ would be designed with a superintendent to run it. For medicinal purposes, any purchases of the drug would require a doctor’s prescription. If passed, in order for the state to benefit, the law would require those who buy marijuana to pay local and state taxes on it.
Also, according to ‘The Cleveland Leader’, those that qualify for a doctor’s prescription “would be permitted to buy 60 grams of marijuana at a time, and could possess and transport up to 200 grams (7 ounces). They would also be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use. Permits would be required for growing and selling marijuana.”
Though more recently introduced, the second proposal would be similar to that of buying beer and wine. No age requirement has yet been set for the legal age to purchase marijuana; that is something to be determined once the proposal is further along and gets closer to being put on a ballot. Cher Neufer, an employee for Ohio’s NORML, explains how recreational uses of marijuana would be similar to that of beer and wine.
“For instance, you are allowed to personally make your own beer, but you are not allowed to sell it. So, it would be the same thing. You could personally grow so many plants and consume it, share it with your friends whatever, but you can’t sell it.”
Ohioans must go through two steps in order to get each proposal on a ballot. First, they must collect 1,000 signatures of registered voters that will then be sent to the Ohio Attorney General, Mike Dewine. If approved, the next step would include a collection of a minimum of 385,245 signatures in order to for the state’s registered voters to vote on it.
Meanwhile, there is cause for concern for young adolescents. Dewine, who must approve either one or both proposals is already discussing the idea of implementing “millions of dollars in grant money to keep anti-drug programs in Ohio’s schools, including the use of marijuana,” according to the ‘Dayton Business Journal’.
It will be interesting to see as both proposals get closer and closer to being printed on a ballot, how Ohio resident’s will react, and if it does go to ballot, what the outcome from registered voters will be.