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Ohio Bill Paves the Way for Marijuana Legalization This Fall

by Demarco Moore

June 16, 2023
Marijuana plants sit on top of money. Ohio house bill 168 has the potential to legalize marijuana.

Ohio House Bill 168 Would Regulate Medical Marijuana and Adult-Use Programs for Ages 21+

Ohio House Bill 168, or the “Ohio Adult Use Act,” might change how marijuana is viewed and handled. The bill is up for consideration and, if passed, could legalize marijuana for those aged 21 and over. 

“Ohioans are ready to legalize cannabis,” State Rep. Casey Weinstein, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in an Ohio Capital Journal report. Weinstein stressed that “adult use is good for our economy, good for our justice system, and the right thing to do.”

But what does this mean for Ohio residents?

What’s in Ohio’s Marijuana Legalization Bill?

Ohio Lawmakers will vote to legalize marijuana at the Ohio statehouse

Adult-Use Programs

If the bill passes, it would allow people aged 21 and over to legally grow and use marijuana. Currently, if you’re caught in Ohio with less than 100 grams (around 3.5 ounces) of marijuana, it’s treated as a minor offense under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.11, not a crime. However, it could only result in a $150 fine.

The new bill aims to provide a regulated way for people to access marijuana, hoping to reduce illegal activities around it.

Expungement of Prior Marijuana Offenses

The bill proposes that those with previous marijuana growth and possession offenses could have their records wiped clean. This means that these past offenses won’t hold people back from job opportunities, housing, and other aspects of their lives; SAMHSA calls them the four dimensions of recovery.

Marijuana Sales Tax

One less-discussed aspect of the bill is a proposed 10% tax on marijuana sales. This revenue would fund various programs throughout the state, including addiction services and law enforcement.

These proposed changes can potentially reshape Ohio’s marijuana landscape significantly, but they also raise new questions and concerns about substance abuse and addiction.

The Other Side: Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

under federal law marijuana still has the potential for misuse and addiction

While many people use marijuana for medicinal purposes, it’s crucial not to overlook the reality of its potential for misuse and addiction. The potential for increased access to marijuana raises concerns about a possible surge in abuse cases.

Healthcare experts like Dr. Jason Kirby, chief medical officer at Landmark Recovery and a board-certified addiction medicine specialist, emphasize the importance of awareness of this risk.
He suggests that while some people might use marijuana responsibly, others can potentially fall into patterns of abuse and addiction.

“To put it bluntly, marijuana is addictive,” Kirby explained in a blog post on marijuana legalization. “When someone relies on the effects of cannabis to help them relax or cope with the stresses of everyday life, they run a high risk of developing a [cannabis] use disorder.”

Even though marijuana could become legal in Ohio, it’s still illegal at the federal level and classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) due to its high potential for abuse.

Related Story: Is Marijuana Addictive?

Spotting the Signs of Marijuana Abuse

Here are some clues that a person may be struggling with marijuana misuse, based on the official handbook doctors use to diagnose substance use disorder, DSM-5-TR:

  • They use more marijuana than planned or can’t stop using it.
  • They spend much time getting, using, or recovering from marijuana.
  • They have strong urges or cravings to use marijuana.
  • They can’t do their normal responsibilities because of marijuana.
  • They keep using marijuana even if it’s causing problems in their life or health.
  • They need more marijuana to get the same effect or less effect from the same amount.

If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you know, it might be time to ask for help.

Related Story: Signs A Family Member is Addicted

Getting Help: Addiction Treatment in Ohio

If you or someone you care about in Ohio is struggling with marijuana or other drug abuse, there’s help close to home. Landmark Recovery’s Ohio drug and alcohol rehab centersPraxis of Cleveland and Praxis of the Firelands – provide all-inclusive addiction treatment services.

These facilities in Euclid and Willard actively treat various addictions, including marijuana. As Medicaid facilities, they offer various treatments under one roof, including:

  • Medical detox
  • Inpatient rehab
  • Outpatient rehab
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Aftercare programs

How Marijuana Could Become Legal In Ohio In 2023

Cleveland 19 News reports that HB 168 will likely be voted on this fall in the Ohio Finance Committee. As we wait, it’s important to know the potential for marijuana abuse and addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling, remember that Landmark Recovery is here to help.

Get expert addiction treatment in Ohio for a healthy, sober future. Our medical team provides comprehensive support to choose recovery. Call 216-243-5589 to speak to the admissions team anytime, day or night, or visit our blog for answers to substance-related questions and topics.

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About the Author

Demarco Moore

Demarco Moore

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Demarco Moore currently writes blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery. Before that, he cut his teeth as a sports writer at the Manchester Times, where his coverage and stories won Tennessee Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017.

He’s always had a knack for storytelling. Moore’s written content for junior golf tournaments and helped to amplify the “People Not Profits” message of credit unions. When he’s not writing, Moore loves to travel, laugh and put his mental health into the hands of the Tennessee Titans during football season.