(The Center Square) – Saying legalizing marijuana would make it more difficult to find employees, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition to Issue 2 on the November ballot.
The chamber becomes the second statewide business or industry group to oppose legalizing marijuana.
“Today an overwhelming majority of the Ohio Chamber Board of Directors voted in favor of the organization opposing Issue 2,” Ohio Chamber President and CEO Steve Stivers said. “Data has shown that states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana experience increased absenteeism and workplace injuries. At a time when Ohio companies are struggling to fill open positions, the legalization of recreational marijuana would exacerbate our current workforce shortages. The Ohio Chamber stands ready to work with stakeholders and legislators to ensure the business community’s voice is heard on this issue.”
Issue 2 would legalize the growing, manufacturing and sale of marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and older. It would also add a 10% tax on the sale and limit the number of plants per person to 12.
Late last month, the Ohio Manufacturers Association also voiced opposition, saying it would harm the manufacturing industry across the state.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol sponsored the measure and has taken in more than $4 million in contributions, according to Ballotpedia.
If approved by a majority of voters, Ohio would become the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
In a recent report by 24/7 Wall Street published by The Center Square, 1.9 million people in Ohio aged 12 and up have reportedly used marijuana in the last year – or 19.6% of the 12 and older population, the 19th highest usage rate among states.
In May, a bipartisan bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state was introduced in the Ohio House. It has not come to a vote.
Also on the November ballot is Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that would enshrine the right to make reproductive decisions, including abortion.