Image of legal marijuana and tax revenue
Philip Ross ~ International Business Times ~
Legal weed in Ohio could raise more than $550 million in tax revenue for the state by 2020, according to figures released Tuesday by the advocacy group ResponsibleOhio, the organization behind a proposed November ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use.
The measure is expected to draw debate over whether legalizing marijuana in Ohio would reduce prison populations and provide a steady cash flow to local governments, as the plan's proponents have promised.  
"Ohioans already spend as much as a couple billion dollars each year on illegal marijuana, while our communities are simply not seeing the benefits," Lydia Bolander, a spokeswoman for ResponsibleOhio, told the Dayton Business Journal. "That money could be in the hands of local governments and small businesses instead of drug dealers."
The group’s projections came from economics firm Burke, Rosen & Associates, based in Cleveland. The figures were based in part on consumption patterns in Colorado, which began selling legal weed in January 2014 and saw $53 million in tax revenue from last year’s sales. Ohio’s population is roughly double that of Colorado.
In November, Ohio voters could determine whether the state goes all-in with marijuana, legalizing both recreational and medical pot. If passed, the measure would make Ohio the first state to go from total prohibition on weed to full legalization.
However, it’s unclear whether Ohio voters would approve a ballot initiative legalizing pot. Support for marijuana legalization in Midwest states tends to be lower than in other parts of the country, including the South. A recent Gallup survey found that just 45 percent of Midwest voters support legalizing marijuana, compared with 47 percent in the South and 51 percent of Americans overall.

Recent News Articles

Monday July 22

How can Texas fix its marijuana problem after legalizing hemp? Forensic experts have a plan…

in Law & Crime

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

Prosecutors and crime lab scientists were scrambling to find a solution after a change in…

274 hits

Monday July 22

Medical pot is helping Minnesotans with PTSD - Cannabis News

in Medical News

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

Minnesotans who use medical pot to treat post-traumatic stress disorder are reporting less anxiety and…

352 hits

Monday July 22

Marijuana tourism lifts off in east Oregon - Cannabis News

in Finance

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

“There is a piece of touring that does belong to marijuana."

230 hits

Monday July 22

Cannabis industry gets crafty with terpenes - Cannabis News

in Science

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

Terpenes, terpenoids, terps. Whatever you call them, these compounds in cannabis that give it distinctive…

238 hits

Tuesday July 23

Top Congressional Chairman And Presidential Candidate File Marijuana Legalization Bills - Cannabis News

in Politics

by Bruce Kennedy - Editor in Chief

The chairman of a key congressional committee responsible for crime policy is teaming up with…

216 hits