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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

It’s up to us: marijuana and abortion among the issues on the Ohio ballot

General election day is November 7th. Be sure to put together your voting plans now!

It’s Up To Us: Marijuana and Abortion Among Issues on the Ohio Ballot

Come November, Ohioans will have their say in two very polarized issues across the United States: marijuana and abortion. It’s rare that two issues of this magnitude would appear on the same ballot.

Issue 1 specifically deals with the topic of abortion. As it currently sits, abortion is legal in Ohio up to 22 weeks, with special exceptions like if the mother’s life is at risk. However, according to The Center for American Progress, in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, Ohio has been enforcing a ban on abortions after six weeks, a time in which most women don’t even know they are pregnant.

If passed, Issue 1 will do two things that aim to protect abortion rights within the state. One, it will establish a person’s ability to make their own decisions regarding reproduction, including abortion and contraception, as a constitutional right. Second, it will make abortion legal up until fetal viability, unless the person’s health is at risk.

If the issue does not pass, the constitution will not be amended to guarantee a person’s right to control their own reproductive decisions and the law as it currently sits would continue to be enforced. JCU student Bradley Lyons ‘24 commented that “Abortion rights are something I care a lot about, as I believe in supporting a woman’s right to choose. I feel it is important for Issue 1 to pass this November.”

Issue 2 tackles another long-standing point of contention within the state of Ohio: marijuana. As it currently stands under Ohio law, medically necessary marijuana use is legal. Recreational marijuana is currently only decriminalized, not fully legal within the state. If Issue 2 passes this November, it would mean that any Ohio citizen over the age of 21 can use and grow their own marijuana. Along with this, a new Division of Cannabis Control would be established within the state government, and a 10 percent state tax would be established on marijuana.

When asked about the implications of legalized marijuana in Ohio, Matt Fischer ‘24 commented, “One of the most important parts of Issue 2 being on the ballot is that people, particularly minorities, get unjust convictions for marijuana charges because of the current laws.” Fischer went on to state that, “Marijuana usage will probably go up if Issue 2 is passed, but it is more important for people who have been convicted of unfair charges to be set free.” Suffice it to say that Issue 2 will reach far and wide in Ohio’s criminal justice system.

Other states nearby, like New York, Michigan and Illinois, have already legalized recreational marijuana, both by legislation and by ballot. However, most of Ohio’s neighboring states have not legalized recreational marijuana such as Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Gov. Mike DeWine is not a fan of legalized, recreational marijuana. Moreover, a good amount of Ohio Republicans in the state government tend to agree with this sentiment. Unfortunately, getting marijuana legalized through legislation is highly unlikely. Yet, this decision is going to be made by ballot, which means Ohio voters have a rare chance to choose their own fate.

Whether you are for or against either of these issues, the importance of this election for Ohio citizens cannot be understated. If one or both of these issues pass, a lot of things will change within Ohio, so make sure to get out and vote on Nov. 8.

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