COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) – Two state lawmakers enacted law Friday to legalize recreational marijuana use in Ohio.
State officials Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson and Terrence Upchurch, D-Cleveland say their bill will have four main components: decriminalization, marijuana consumption tax, trade and licensing, and medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio.
About two months ago, the Ohio State Medical Board expanded the list of qualified medical conditions for someone to get a medical marijuana card.
Ohio Approves 3 Existing Conditions for Medical Marijuana Use
This new legislation would allow adult cultivation and possession of marijuana and the erasure of convictions for previous cultivation and possession offenses.
The bill would also impose a 10% excise tax on a marijuana retailer's or micro-business's gross income from the sale of marijuana.
Excise revenue would be distributed in part to primary and secondary schools (K-12) for repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, and up to $ 20 million annually for two years would be used for clinical trials researching the effectiveness of marijuana in Treating Veterans Diseases and Preventing Veterans Suicide.
"It's time to take Ohio forward," said Weinstein. "This is a big step for criminal justice reform, for our veterans, for economic opportunity and for our individual freedoms."
Upchurch said that this law is “badly needed in Ohio, and it is time Ohio became a national leader in decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. This bill is not just about legalization, but about economic and human resource development, decriminalization and health care! It is now time and I look forward to doing this across parties. "
The bill is now waiting for a bill number and committee assignment.
FOX19 NOW asked some local lawmakers what they think about the proposed laws.
"I haven't read the law, but I doubt it could pass," said MP Bill Seitz (R-Green Township). "My own bipartisan bill allowing medical marijuana for the treatment of the autism spectrum didn't even make it off committee, and this newly proposed bill is a giant leap beyond that."
State Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) said she was "wholeheartedly against".
“I get the idea behind it, but I've seen what it's done to states and people. It may not lead everyone to worse drugs, but you will have a hard time finding someone who is addicted to heroin who has not started. I've never been in favor of it, I've never tried it and I'm actually allergic to it! "
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