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Ohio Republican Backing Adult-Use Bill

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A conservative Ohio lawmaker is currently seeking sponsors for a bill to legalize cannabis for adults in the state, the Associated Press reports. The bill being circulated by Republican Rep. Jamie Callender would allow sales and possession for adults 21-and-older and levy a 10% tax on retail sales.

Callender described the legislation as “the responsible approach for adult use.” Under the proposal, a quarter of the cannabis-derived tax revenues would fund police department purchases of equipment used to detect impaired drivers, and another quarter would be used for addiction and recovery programs. The remaining half would not be earmarked, allowing the funds to be used by Ohio during a precarious economic time, Callender told the AP.

“Having that extra funding going into the general revenue fund would give the Legislature more financial stability without having to look at tax increases.”Callender to the AP

Ohio lawmakers legalized medical cannabis in 2016 and it was implemented three years later.

In August the state Attorney General’s Office approved the summary language of a petition to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, two weeks after determining that previous language wasn’t “fair and truthful.”

Campaign organizers next must collect signatures from registered voters equal to at least 3% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election. Additionally, those signatures must come from voters in at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties and, for each of those counties, the number must equal at least 1.5% of the vote cast in the last gubernatorial election, the AG’s Office said.

A spokesperson for the group behind the initiative, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told the AP that it supported Callender’s bill and would welcome the chance to work with lawmakers on the reforms.

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Author: TG Branfalt