On November 3, Ohio voters will get to weigh in on whether or not
marijuana should be legalized. The measure, written by ResponsibleOhio, received
320,267 signatures from Ohio voters – enough to secure a spot on
the impending ballot.
Secretary of State John Husted allowed ResponsibleOhio ten extra days to
secure the signatures it needed – state law allows a ten day extension
for organizations that come up short on signatures for ballot measures.
According to ResponsibleOhio, legalizing marijuana in Ohio could result
in the following benefits:
- By 2020, the marijuana industry could amount to upwards of $4.1 billion
- The legalization of marijuana could generate up to 10,000 jobs
- In terms of tax revenue, the marijuana industry could funnel $554 million
into Ohio municipalities
Legalizing marijuana would amend the Ohio constitution to allow adults
over the age of 21 to use pot, allow individuals under 21 to use pot with
parental consent, and regulate the growth of marijuana. If Ohioans approve
of the measure, Ohio would become the fifth state in the U.S. to legalize
While the measure did get enough signatures to appear on the November ballot,
do Ohioans actually want marijuana to become legal? Public opinion of
legalizing pot has changed drastically in recent years. According to
a poll conducted last year, about 51 percent of respondents said that they support making adult marijuana
possession in small quantities legal.
To garner support, ResponsibleOhio is focusing on promoting the many benefits
of marijuana, such as its ability to treat Alzheimer’s and other
conditions like arthritis and epilepsy. The group also focuses on personal
responsibility, comparing marijuana use to alcohol use – fine for
adults when used responsibly.
Sentencing for Nonviolent Drug Crimes
Because of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, many people are
in prison right now because they were arrested for low-level, nonviolent
According to the ACLU, in 2010, 52% of all drug arrests were for marijuana. In 2013, 88% of
marijuana arrests were for possession only. That same year, 1.5 million
people were arrested in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges.
For a free legal consultation, call 614-675-4845
The Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction
A drug bust for pot could mean losing your job or a number of other collateral
consequences, such as loss of public benefits. Legalizing marijuana would
drastically cut back on the bloated prison population, save money, and
prevent people from being punished in a way that’s disproportionate
with the crime.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for a
drug offense, Koffel Brininger Nesbitt can step in to help. We are passionate about treatment,
rehabilitation, and fairness for all.