COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In less than 90 days, Ohio voters will decide whether recreational marijuana should be legal for adults 21 and over. 

If it passes, Ohio will join more than 20 states in legalizing it for recreational use.

“Our proposal is really good policy,” spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Tom Haren said. “We think it is going to be a model for the rest of the country as it relates to the regulation of marijuana.”

Haren added their proposal was modeled off of “best practices” from the 20 plus states that have legalized recreational marijuana. 

While the coalition has strong support, there is also strong opposition, from people like Aubree Adams, director of Every Brain Matters.

“When you legalize marijuana, you promote more use,” Adams said. “I question why a community, a state, would want to put more of our young people at risk when we should be supporting their health.”

Doctor Anand Dugar is the owner of Green Health Docs — his business approves medical marijuana cards for Ohioans, mostly via telehealth.

“It gives people more access to safer cannabis and I think that’s always a good thing,” Dugar said.

Dugar said it is important to use recreational marijuana in moderation, especially for those under 25.

“There is more risk if you’re using a lot of cannabis at a younger age for having memory issues, schizophrenia, things like that, so use it with caution. But the real low risk begins around 25,” Dugar said. “If you are using it occasionally, or for medical purpose, and you’re not a chronic user… I think it is okay to use it 18 to 25 but use it in moderation like you do alcohol.”

Dugar said the legalization will also help assure people that the product they are buying is safe.

“Once you have a legal market, you at least know the products you are buying at the dispensary are 100% safe and tested and they won’t contain any trace amounts of fentanyl or opioids that could potentially be lethal,” Dugar said.

What happens to the medical market when recreational cannabis is legal? Dugar said it usually does not take a hit.

“It makes sense to be a medical patient if you want to see a doctor, get larger amounts of product or save money,” Dugar said.

If recreational use is legalized in Ohio, there will be an additional 10% tax on purchases.

“We want to generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year in new tax revenue to the state of Ohio,” Haren said.

The Ohio State Drug Enforcement and Policy Center estimates that over five years, the adult-use market would bring the state $276 million to $403 million dollars in additional tax revenue. But Adams said even with the revenue, she doesn’t think the benefits outweigh the cost.

“They could come pave my road with gold from the tax revenue of marijuana,” Adams said. “It wouldn’t matter to me.”

Because this is not a constitutional amendment — if this does pass in November, legislators here at the statehouse do have the authority to modify or overturn the law.

“My expectation is that our proposal will not be repealed by the Ohio legislature on policy grounds alone,” Haren said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has research about the effects of marijuana you can read it here.