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Republicans Offer Their Own Bill To Legalize Marijuana In Ohio

 Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) introduces bill to legalize pot.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) introduces bill to legalize pot.

Ohio House Republicans are introducing a bill to legalize marijuana for personal use for adults ages 21 and up.

Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) said this is the first time someone from his party has proposed a bill to legalize marijuana for personal use.

He said a challenge to getting the bill passed by the GOP-dominated House is to dispel the stigma around pot.

"There's some real strong arguments that we're in a different time now than we were, we know a lot more and quite frankly society is in a different place than it was 20 years ago," Callender, who is introducing the bill with co-sponsor Rep. Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville), said.

The GOP bill would make marijuana legal for non-medicinal use for ages 21 and up. The proposal currently caps the amount of marijuana possession at five ounces and allows for individuals to grow a limited amount of marijuana plants in their home.

The bill would also create a 10% sales tax on marijuana and products.

There's also a Democratic bill already introduced in the House and a citizens initiative to put the issue on the 2022 ballot.

Callender said leadership in the House and Senate have expressed their skepticism to the measure but he hopes the committee process can help grow a better understanding on the issue.

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

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.