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Possible Legalization of Marijuana in Ohio


With growing public support, Ohio consumers over the age of 21 may soon be permitted under state law to purchase marijuana and marijuana-infused products. The groups ResponsibleOhio and Better for Ohio have offered their visions of regulated medical and consumer marijuana in Ohio and appear to be the best situated among the various legalization efforts to make the November ballot.

While each amendment differs in significant respects, they both call for the establishment of a Commission to regulate the production and labeling of marijuana infused products. While potential consumers of marijuana-infused gummy bears, chocolates, and the infinite array of yet to be created products are no doubt interested in the potential widespread availability of factory made edibles in designated retail stores, the question also arises as to what labeling should be utilized to make these products as safe as possible, especially if they are used around children.

An obvious issue with marijuana-infused gummy bears and similar candies is the potential for children to mistakenly ingest large quantities of the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana, THC. Both proposed amendments make some effort to address this concern head-on by providing that the Commission will be responsible for regulating the packaging and design of marijuana products so as not to “create a substantial risk of attractiveness to children.”

This command raises several practical questions worth considering sooner rather than later. For instance, would it be advisable for marijuana infused candies to be sold in child proof packaging? Should a substance intended for use by those 21 years of age or older ever be allowed to take the form of children’s candy? What is the maximum potency level that should be allowed in edibles based on the risk to children who may accidentally ingest them?

At any rate, the creation of a Commission to regulate marijuana production and the manufacturing of marijuana-infused products would seem at first blush to provide the chance for Ohioans to get better information about the marijuana and marijuana-infused products that are being sold to the public. Needless to say, any level of oversight would be more than is currently in place in the widespread black market production and sale of marijuana products in Ohio. That being said, every possible effort to protect Ohio’s children from accidental harm should be taken if legalization efforts are successful.

Click here to read Better for Ohio’s proposed amendment.

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