Cleveland Area State Reps Introduce Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Ohio

Study finds that high THC cannabis use can cause memory issues. - Shutterstock
Study finds that high THC cannabis use can cause memory issues.

Ohio state representatives Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) have introduced a bill in the Ohio house that would legalize recreational marijuana use in the state.

In addition to decriminalizing adult marijuana cultivation and possession, the proposed law would expunge prior marijuana convictions and levy a 10% excise tax on marijuana retailers.

Proceeds from that tax would go toward schools, roads and bridges, and, for the first two years, clinical trials researching marijuana as medical treatment for veterans.

"This bill is more than just about legalization," said Rep. Upchurch, in a press release. "It’s about economic and workforce development, it’s about decriminalization, and it’s about healthcare! The time is now, and I look forward to getting this done in a bipartisan fashion."

The bill's introduction comes days after reported that a new statewide coalition is pushing to place full marijuana legalization on the ballot in November. In 2016, a similar effort led to the legalization of medical marijuana.

"The current campaign could be an attempt to force the legislature’s hand once again," reported. "But if the legislature fails to act, or passes a modified version of the law, backers then could seek to take the original proposal for a statewide vote."

The initiative backed by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol closely resembles the bill introduced by Weinstein and Upchurch. Its version, however, calls for the creation of a Department of Cannabis Control within the Ohio Department of Commerce and proposes that the 10% tax should fund social equity and jobs programs, communities that host marijuana dispensaries, substance abuse research, and administrative costs for the new Cannabis Control office.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.