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Senate president says marijuana law will get some changes if Ohioans pass Issue 2

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima)
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima)

The Republican-dominated Ohio Senate passed a resolution opposing the two issues on the Nov. 7 ballot – Issue 1, an amendment on reproductive and abortion rights, and Issue 2, a law to legalize recreational marijuana.

But the Republican leader of the Senate – who opposes legalized marijuana – said while there aren’t immediate plans to repeal the law if Issue 2 passes, it would likely undergo some changes.

In his speech on the Senate floor against Issue 2, President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) predicted what he calls a “mental health crisis” if voters legalize recreational marijuana. He added that "this initiated statute is coming right back before this body."

After session, Huffman clarified to reporters that doesn't mean a total repeal of the law.

"I will advocate for reviewing it and repealing things or changing things that are in it," Huffman said.

Huffman is concerned about a provision that will allow for some of the 10% in marijuana tax revenue to go to programs offering financial assistance and help with license applications for cannabis businesses for people who’ve been convicted of marijuana-related laws.

That provision in the proposed law says: "[I]n the interest of remedying the harms resulting from the disproportionate enforcement of marijuana-related laws, a cannabis social equity and jobs program shall provide financial assistance and license application support to individuals most directly and adversely impacted by the enforcement of marijuana-related laws who are interested in starting or working in cannabis business entities."

But the group behind Issue 2, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said there’s no preference given to people with prior convictions.


Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.