Ohio Manufacturers Urge No Vote on Recreational Marijuana Measure on November Ballot

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association urged Ohioans to vote “no” on a November ballot measure to legalize the possession, purchase, and sale of marijuana by Ohio residents aged 21 and older.

This follows the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association voting to oppose the ballot measure, now titled Issue 2 for the November general election, at a special meeting of its board of directors on Tuesday.

The proposed initiative submitted by The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol aims to impose a 10 percent tax on the sale of all cannabis products, permit adults to grow up to six plants per person or 12 per household and legalize the possession, purchase, and sale of marijuana by Ohio residents aged 21 and older.

According to Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) President Ryan Augsburger, the board of directors has concerns concerning worker safety, absenteeism, rising insurance expenses, and the already low rate of employment participation if this measure were to pass.

“Due to concerns regarding workplace safety, worker absenteeism, increased insurance costs, and the already lagging rate of workforce participation, the OMA board has voted overwhelmingly to oppose the effort to legalize recreational marijuana. America counts on Ohio manufacturers’ innovation and productivity. Legalizing recreational drug use would have significant ramifications for the Buckeye State’s number one industry,” Augsburger said.

According to the OMA, other states that have legalized recreational marijuana use show a 55 percent increase in workplace accidents and an 85 percent higher injury rate for workers who tested positive for marijuana.

A recent report by Quest Diagnostics found the number of marijuana-positive drug tests performed after workplace accidents soared 204 percent from 2012 to 2022, coinciding with the trend of more states legalizing recreational use.

Further research, according to the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association, demonstrates that legalization directly influences roadway safety and has been related to higher employee absenteeism.

As previously reported by The Ohio Star, Governor Mike DeWine said that legalizing recreational marijuana in Ohio would “be a mistake.” Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has also stated that he opposes the drug’s recreational use and instead focuses on improving Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

A coalition of Ohio leaders across children’s health care, business, veterans, and law enforcement institutions has already formed in opposition to the proposed law. They say that the proposal is bad for Ohio’s families, workers, and economy.

This is a proposed law, not a change to the state Constitution. State legislators can amend or abolish laws, including ones that voters enacted, but only a superseding amendment that the general public has adopted can change or repeal constitutional amendments.

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association is Ohio’s largest statewide business association comprised solely of manufacturers. Established in 1910, the OMA says its mission is to protect and grow Ohio manufacturing. The OMA represents manufacturers of all sizes in every sub-sector of the industry. Manufacturing is Ohio’s largest economic sector, employing nearly 700,000 Ohioans and contributing more than $134 billion annually to the state’s economy.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star, The Star News Network, and The Arizona Sun Times. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected].







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