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Keeping an open mind

Two Ohio lawmakers introduced bill language for the Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis. It would allow for cultivation, use by adults over the age of 21 and possession of up to 2.5 ounces.

State Reps. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, and Terrence Upchurch, D-Cleveland, introduced the initiative, sponsored by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

“We’re taking matters into our own hands and we are today filing a bill that will be responsive to the voters, the hundreds of thousands who signed those petitions and the millions who agree with them that it’s time to legalize,” Weinstein told News 5 Cleveland.

Perhaps he is right. Perhaps legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana is supported by voters. But marijuana is legal in 18 states, and that’s mainly about money.

Ohio State University studied the potential economic impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in the state and found the shift could mean as much as $375 million in annual tax revenue.

Lawmakers should go into this understanding the risks. The wellbeing of Ohioans must take precedence. However, should their research lead them to believe there is a way to minimizes those risks, elected officials must proceed with an open mind.

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