COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The debate surrounding legalizing marijuana is coming to the state of Ohio.
This week, Democratic lawmakers announced a plan for legalizing cannabis for adult use.
Lawmakers are looking for co-sponsors on a bill that would legalize marijuana for people who are 21 years old and older. The bill would also seal the records of those who have been convicted of a marijuana-related crime.
“This is an opportunity for us to catch up with our neighbors and also, frankly, where Ohioans and Americans are on this issue,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Dudson).
According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational use. Weinstein said Ohio is missing out on the benefits of the marijuana industry.
“Revenues for that will go into schools, infrastructure, and veterans suicide reduction causes and PTSD causes, back into the communities where the dispensaries are,” Weinstein said.
A group of Republican lawmakers said they are currently working on their own plan to legalize marijuana.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he has not changed his mind on the issue.
“For us to say ok, anybody can use marijuana is probably, is in fact, in my opinion, a mistake,” DeWine said. “I think the law is a teacher, and when you say you’re going to totally legalize marijuana, it sends the signal that it’s OK for everyone and we know that that’s simply not true.”