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Ohio Republican Lawmakers Aim to Divert Cannabis Taxes Away From Social Equity Programmes

Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine, alongside other Republican lawmakers have introduced a new bill aiming to alter the state’s landmark adult-use legalization bill.

It marks the latest effort by right-wing legislators to attack the bill after it was passed on November 07, seeing 57% of voters come out in favour of cannabis reform.

House Bill 341, introduced on Tuesday November 28, aims to amend the bill to divert tax revenues from cannabis sales away from social equity programmes and towards local law enforcement, Cleveland.com reported.

Crucially, it would also allow individual cities throughout Ohio to ban the use and home cultivation of cannabis, despite this being prohibited in the original legislation.

With cannabis sales set to be taxed at 10% in the current legislation, estimates suggest around $200m in revenues within the first year, doubling by year four.

Rep. Gary Click, who sponsored the bill, said that with ‘more drug use’ comes the ‘need for more policing’.

“We want to create some funds to train law enforcement on how to deal with that, how to respond to those situations.

“This is a gateway drug. I know people who started on that. I know people who have been very adversely affected by it personally and in my family. So, I think we need to do some education on prevention. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it safe or beneficial.”

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