Marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; state also has a medical marijuana law
Last update: November 09, 2023
Ohio becomes the 24th legalization state!!
On November 7, 2023, Ohio voters approved Issue 2, legalizing cannabis for adults. More than half of Americans now live in a legal cannabis state!
Once the measure is certified, adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to securely grow up to six plants. Legal sales are anticipated sometime in 2024. You can check out our summary for more details about the new law.
Unfortunately, however, advocates need to play defense. Ohio law allows the legislature to revise — or even repeal — voter-enacted statutes like Issue 2 with a simple majority.
Senate President Matt Huffman (R) said “this initiated statute is coming right back to this body” and he’ll advocate for reviewing and “repealing things.”
Huffman singled out social equity and jobs provisions — to provide financial support to individuals seeking to enter the cannabis industry who were impacted by prohibition. Lawmakers are surely eyeing gutting other provisions of the law, too. In October, the Ohio Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution that was chock full of reefer madness opposing Issue 2.
MPP was proud to be the #1 donor to the initiative campaign, but we need to replenish our coffers to help defend the law. Please chip in to our Ohio Legalization Defense Fund.
Medical Cannabis and Decriminalization in Ohio
In 2015-2016, MPP and our allies mobilized to put medical cannabis on the ballot. In response, state lawmakers passed a law to establish a medical cannabis program for Ohioans in 2016. As of September 2023, the program is serving over 180,000 registered patients throughout the state. For more information on Ohio’s medical marijuana program and access to patient forms and other resources, visit Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website. And, for an overview of the current medical marijuana law, see this summary.
Ohio also has one of the oldest “decriminalization” laws on the books, dating back to 1975. While cannabis is now legal for adults, the “decrim” penalties continue to apply to those under 21. For minors, possessing less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered “minor misdemeanors,” punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A minor misdemeanor is not a “jailable” offense, but a person’s driver’s license can be suspended for a period ranging from six months to five years.
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