Ohio Becomes the 24th Adult-Use Legal Cannabis State

Issue 2 – the Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Issue 2 passed with 55% of the vote on November 6, making Ohio the nation's 24th adult-use legal cannabis state.

Also known as the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, it allows adults to possess 2.5 ounces and grow up to 12 plants at home. The retail tax rate is set at 10%. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made a last-minute decision to vote in favor:

"It was a hard decision. My wife and I spent a lot of time talking about it. We talked about exposure to for young people. We've talked about a whole lot of things in the end. We voted to legalize because we thought overall regulation—legalization and regulation of marijuana use—the public would be safer doing it that way.”

RELATED: In 2022, Voters in Maryland and Missouri Approved Legalization Initiatives

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is predictably oppposed:

"I don’t think the little bit of money that this will generate to the state of Ohio is worth the damage to the people of Ohio. We continue to expand it as we find more evidence of how cannabis or some derivative of marijuana can be of assistance to people. And so, we’re open to do that.”

RELATED: In March, Oklahoma Voters Rejected Question 820

Issue 2 was bankrolled by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to the tune of $5.8 million ($2.5 million from the MPP, $295,000 from Cresco Labs and $200,000 from Curaleaf). The opposition only raised $343,000.

 In 2015, Ohio's Issue 3 lost by a 65%-35% margin at the polls. The failure of that marijuana-legalization ballot initiative was mostly due to lack of support from the cannabis community over monopoly concerns and an off-year election. 

Issue 1 in Ohio also passed by a similar margin. According to the New York Times, it amends the state Constitution to give individuals the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including on abortion.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.