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Sponsors Of Bill To Legalize Marijuana Hold Zoom Town Hall To Discuss Plan

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone

The sponsors of a bill to legalize marijuana are conducting online town halls, listening to Ohioans’ concerns about it.

About 70 people listened online as Democratic Reps. Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) explained their bill that would allow cultivation and possession of marijuana and the taxation of it for schools, infrastructure, and public health.

The last time Ohioans had the chance to legalize marijuana, concerns were raised about public safety but Weinstein said legalization makes communities safer.

“Really what this does is it frees up law enforcement resources to focus on more violent crime so it really has the direct opposite impact," Weinstein said.

Eighteen states have legalized marijuana and another 13 have decriminalized its use. There’s also an effort to take the issue to voters. Critics have complained Ohio’s medical marijuana program is too hard to access and too expensive.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.