Ohio voters legalize recreational marijuana

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(The Center Square) – Ohio became the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

The Associated Press called Issue 2 in Ohio around 9:30 p.m. with a little less than 50% of precincts reporting and yes holding 55.6% of the vote to 44.4% no.

The new law takes effect 30 days after the election.

“The economic benefit from Issue 2 doesn’t stop at the tax revenue that gets generated. It’s a significant investment in economic development in some communities,” said Tom Haren, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

The approval legalizes the growing, manufacturing and sale of marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and older. It also adds a 10% tax on the sale and limits the number of plants per person to 12.

Experts have said the state could take in more than $200 million annually from the marijuana tax. The amendment earmarks that money for administrative costs, addiction treatment and municipalities that have dispensaries.

Unlike the abortion rights amendment, which becomes law in 30 days, the recreational marijuana question appeared as an initiated statute, which means the governor cannot veto it, but lawmakers could modify the law after the election.

“My expectation, and again, this should not be controversial, to say our elected officials should respect the outcome of elections,” Haren said.

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