Ohioans have voted in favour of adult-use (recreational) marijuana. Here’s what the Biden Administration thinks of the move.
Ohio decriminalized possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis way back in 1975, and medical use was legalized in 2016.
After a failed initiative in 2015 to make recreational marijuana legal, another appearing on the November 7, 2023 ballot was approved by the state’s voters. This will take effect on December 7th, 2023, and from that point:
- The possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and 15 grams (½ oz) of concentrate by adults 21 and over will be legal.
- Cultivation of six plants for personal use, with a maximum of 12 plants per home will be allowed.
- A 10 per cent sales tax on cannabis purchased at licensed dispensaries will come into play. The revenue from this will go towards social equity and jobs programs, funding for localities allowing dispensaries, education and substance abuse programs, and covering administrative costs.
At a press conference last week, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked for the Biden Administration’s views on Ohio’s move.
“Question: Ohio voted to legalize marijuana last night. Does the Biden administration support that vote? And do you feel that marijuana restrictions should be loosened on the federal level?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, the President put out his stance on marijuana about a year and a half ago. Nothing has changed there. And so, I will leave it to the people of Ohio to decide on how they’re going to move forward with their own constitution. But I’m just not going to speak to it further. We’ve been very clear.”
So, what is the Biden Administration’s stance?
In October last year, President Joe Biden announced the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General would be tasked with leading an administrative process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” said the President. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”
President Biden said no one should be in a Federal, local or state prison “solely due to the possession of marijuana.” Vice President Kamala Harris stated the move was a step forward in “correcting the historical injustices of failed drug policies.”