Voters in Ohio will vote on Issue 2, an initiative to legalize marijuana, on Nov. 7.
Ohio is a Republican trifecta, meaning the Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the state legislature.
Since 2010, there have been 23 state ballot measures to legalize marijuana for recreational or personal use.
- There have been 13 ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Republican trifectas. Six (46.15%) were approved, and seven (53.85%) were defeated.
- There have been five ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Democratic trifectas. Four (80.00%) were approved, and one (20.00%) was defeated, although the one state to reject legalization, California, later approved an initiative.
- There have been five ballot measures to legalize marijuana in states with divided governments. Voters approved all of them.
Ohio Issue 2 was put on the ballot through a citizen initiative petition. The ballot measure would legalize the use, possession, cultivation, and sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Under Issue 2, adults would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates and be able to grow six marijuana plants at home or up to 12 plants per household. A 10% tax on marijuana sales would also be enacted, with the revenue going to a cannabis social equity and jobs program.
In 2015, voters in Ohio rejected a marijuana legalization initiative, with 64% of voters against the proposal. The initiative, titled Issue 3, would have legalized the sale and use of marijuana and would have created 10 facilities with exclusive rights to grow marijuana commercially.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016 when House Bill 523 was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich (R).
If voters approve the initiative, Ohio would become the 24th state to legalize marijuana. Twenty-three other states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana through a mix of citizen initiatives, legislative referrals to the ballot, and bills enacted into law. If voters reject the initiative, Ohio will be the second state—after North Dakota—where voters have rejected legalization measures twice.