Controversial Revisions Proposed for Ohio's Marijuana Legalization Initiative
According to a report from the Associated Press on December 6th, the Ohio state Senate in the United States has recently proposed significant amendments to the second proposal for the legalization of marijuana. This proposal had received support from 57% of voters in a vote on November 7th last year. The proposed changes include banning home cultivation, increasing tax rates, and adjusting the distribution of tax revenue, leading to intense debates in the days leading up to the legislation's implementation.
Republican Senator Michael Rulli stated that the goal of the Senate General Government Committee is to "meet the people's needs with safe products.
However, supporters of Proposal 2 have strongly criticized the revisions made to the proposal, with some senators attempting to remove key provisions such as home cultivation and social equity issues. These proposals must undergo multiple budgetary considerations before implementation, even if the proposal is approved by the Republican-led Senate. Republican-led House of Representatives and Governor Mike DeWine still need to express their support.
The Senate has also proposed measures to ban home-grown marijuana, increase the marijuana tax to 15%, and allocate tax revenue to areas such as police training and drug abuse treatment.
The suggestion, particularly the one that prohibits home cultivation, has sparked criticism, especially from those who believe it goes against the will of the voters. Additionally, the proposal also aims to reduce the amount of marijuana one can legally possess and lower the permissible THC levels in plants and extracts.
The Republican Party has also proposed measures to safeguard children against the influence of marijuana, garnering support from the governor. These measures include ensuring child-safe packaging, restricting advertising targeting minors, and prohibiting the establishment of sales points in locations frequently visited by children.
These proposed changes aim to address concerns over vague regulations on public consumption and allow employers to establish policies on employee marijuana use. However, critics like Democratic Senator Bill DeMora argue that these adjustments overlook the will of the voters and may have negative implications for the industry.
The uncertain future of marijuana legalization in Ohio is partly due to the controversial amendments proposed by the Republicans in the Senate.
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