Ohio ACLU Criticizes GOP Attempt to Undermine Voter-Backed Marijuana Law

Ohio ACLU Marijuana Law: Navigating the Changing Landscape

Hey there, fellow cannabis enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the exciting world of Ohio’s , particularly the recent developments around Issue 2, as well as the ACLU’s take on it. Buckle up, grab your favorite strain, and let’s get into it.


First off, let’s get something straight—Ohioans know what they want when it comes to marijuana. In a landslide , with 57% in favor and only 43% against, they gave a resounding nod to marijuana use, possession, and for adults. It’s safe to say that the people have spoken, and they want their green.

The Issue 2 Twist

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Issue 2, the for this marijuana journey, was not a constitutional amendment but an initiated statute. This means that state legislators have a say in shaping it. And, well, they seem to have some plans.

Senate GOP’s Surprise Move

Enter House Bill 86, a seemingly innocent piece of legislation dealing with liquor laws. It passed in the House with an 85–6 vote, but then the Senate decided to hitch a ride and use it as a Trojan Horse to dismantle Issue 2. Sneaky, right?

Changes Afoot

The Senate GOP has some ideas of their own. They want to make changes that might just drive Ohioans to Michigan or back into the black market. Home growing, which Issue 2 approved? Poof, gone with HB 86. No plants for you!

Issue 2 set limits at 35% for plant and 90% for extracts. But with HB 86, those numbers are slashed to 25% and 50%, respectively. It’s like ordering a double shot of espresso and getting half decaf – not cool, Ohio.

HB 86 says you can drive with marijuana, but there’s a catch. It must be in your trunk, still in its original, unopened . So, you can’t just roll one up and hit the road. It’s a little less freedom, a little more red tape.

Taxing Matters

Issue 2 proposed a 10% sales tax rate. HB 86, on the other hand, pushes it up to 15%. That’s a 50% increase, folks. But that’s not all – they’re also slapping a 15% tax on growers. Guess who ends up footing the bill? Ohioans, of course! Thanks, Tax Cut Crowd.

Dispensary Dilemma

HB 86 seems to have it out for dispensaries. It forbids them from setting up shop within a mile of each other. Plus, it outlaws dispensaries within 500 feet of public places like libraries and parks. Talk about being cornered. And remember the free market? Well, it’s taking a hit too. Issue 2 allowed for 350 dispensaries, but HB 86 cuts that down to 230. Looks like the market won’t be deciding much after all.

Here’s the real kicker – Issue 2 had provisions to help those who had suffered from marijuana offenses in the past. It aimed to let them benefit from the new system. But the Senate GOP wiped all those provisions clean, leaving those who needed help out in the cold.

What’s Next?

So, what’s the game plan now? The Senate wants to push HB 86 through, but it’s not a done deal. The House has yet to reveal a comprehensive plan, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has his own ideas in this cannabis debate. The Statehouse drama is far from over, and we’ll be watching closely.


In the end, whatever decisions are made should reflect what Ohio voters wanted when they gave a green thumbs-up to marijuana. The politicians had plenty of chances over the decades to update Ohio’s archaic laws, but they chose not to. Ohioans have spoken loud and clear, and the legislature better take heed, especially with redistricting reform lurking on the horizon for 2024.

So, there you have it, folks. The Ohio ACLU isn’t thrilled with the GOP’s plans to tweak the marijuana laws that Ohioans voted for. But this is just one chapter in the ongoing saga of cannabis in the United States. Buckle up, because there’s bound to be more twists and turns on the horizon.

Author’s Note: Thanks to Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, for shedding light on this issue. Stay informed, stay safe, and as always, enjoy responsibly. Cheers!

Q&A – Your Burning Questions Answered

  1. Q: What was the result of the Ohio marijuana vote?
  2. A: Ohioans voted overwhelmingly in favor of marijuana use, possession, and sales for adults, with 57% supporting it.

  3. Q: What is the significance of Issue 2?
  4. A: Issue 2 is an initiated statute that allows state legislators to make changes to Ohio’s marijuana laws.

  5. Q: How does House Bill 86 impact marijuana laws in Ohio?
  6. A: House Bill 86 seeks to make significant changes, including eliminating home growing, reducing THC limits, and increasing on marijuana products.

  7. Q: What happened to provisions for those with past marijuana offenses?
  8. A: Unfortunately, the Senate GOP removed all provisions aimed at helping those with previous marijuana offenses, leaving them without support.

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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