Why can Legislature change new Ohio recreational marijuana law?Posted by On

Ohio voters made the Buckeye State the 24th to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

Ohio voters made the Buckeye State the 24th to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

The ballot measure, known as Issue 2, passed in the Nov. 7 election with 57% of the vote, according to unofficial results. And Ohio Republicans who oppose marijuana started talking almost immediately about how they want to change it.

Gov. Mike DeWine and legislative leaders aren’t pushing for a repeal, but they do plan to make tweaks − and could do so before the end of the year.

“I can’t believe in 2023 we’re actually talking about elected officials not respecting the will of the voters and not respecting the outcome of an election,” Tom Haren, a spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said on election night. “I expect, I think that every single voter in Ohio has a right to expect, that elected officials will implement and respect the will of voters.”

Why can the Ohio Legislature change the marijuana law?

Unlike the abortion rights measure that passed on Nov. 7, Issue 2 was not a constitutional amendment. It was an initiated statute.

This process allows Ohio citizens to propose laws for the Ohio Revised Code. Petitioners gather signatures to place the measure before the Legislature, which then has four months to act. If lawmakers don’t consider it, groups can collect a second round of signatures to put their proposed statute on the ballot.

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