A majority of Ohio voters—including a plurality of Republicans—say they support a marijuana legalization initiative that will appear on the state’s November ballot, according to a new poll.

The survey from Fallon Research & Communications that was released on Tuesday shows that 59 percent of registered voters back the cannabis reform proposal—a positive sign for the campaign that comes days after the Ohio Ballot Board approved final ballot summary language for the initiative.

Notably, this latest survey shows that GOP voters have grown more supportive of the legalization measure, and overall opposition has dipped, compared to the last statewide poll that was conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University in July.

While both surveys found that 59 percent of Ohioans back the reform, Fallon’s puts Republican support at 48 percent, while opposition is at 46 percent. The earlier poll showed that just 40 percent of GOP Ohio voters were in favor of the measure, so this represents a nearly 10 percentage point increase in a short timespan to the extent that the two surveys from the different firms can be compared.

Via Fallon.

Democrats are the most supportive in the new poll, with 68 percent backing the legalization proposal, the main details of which were included in the question presented to repondents. Another 62 percent of politically unaffiliated voters support the initiative.

The measure also enjoys majority support across racial groups and all age categories except those 65 and older, though there’s still plurality support within that group as well.

The poll involved interviews with 501 registered Ohio voters from August 22-25, with a +/-4.4 percentage point margin of error.

The results are encouraging for advocates, and it seems to affirm a point that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) has repeatedly made: the issue of legalization is increasingly bipartisan.

The initiative also enjoys more support than a separate November ballot measure on abortion rights, which has slightly smaller majority support at 55 percent, along with a much starker partisan divide than is the case with the cannabis reform.

Ohio officials have also recently released pro and con arguments for the cannabis proposal. And among those who are siding with the pro arguments is U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus who released a statement on Monday explaining why he personally plans to vote in favor of the measure this November.

Also, a recent economic analysis from researchers at Ohio State University estimated that the reform would bring in up to $403.6 million in annual tax dollars from adult-use marijuana sales if voters approve it.

Here are the key provisions of the legalization ballot measure that will appear on the November ballot:

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If the measure is ultimately enacted, that would bring the total number of states with adult-use legalization on the books to 24.

Meanwhile, bipartisan Ohio lawmakers filed a bill to legalize marijuana in May, offering the legislature another opportunity to take the lead on the reform. But it has yet to advance, and now the stage is set for voters to make the choice.

Reps. Jamie Callender (R) and Casey Weinstein (D) introduced the Ohio Adult Use Act, which combined and refined prior legalization proposals that the lawmakers pursued last session on a separate partisan basis.

Callender, who sponsored a separate bill to tax and regulate cannabis in 2021, previously cast doubts on the prospects of legislative reform, signaling that he felt the issue would ultimately need to be decided by voters given the recalcitrance of the legislature.

Ohioans have made clear that they’re ready for a policy change during elections in multiple recent cycles. To date, more than three dozen Ohio localities have enacted decriminalization through the local ballot.

Last November, for example, voters five more cities approved local marijuana decriminalization ballot initiatives. And during a primary election in May, voters in Helena similarly enacted the reform.

Separately, Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who opposes the legalization measure, signed a major criminal justice reform bill in January that will let cities facilitate mass expungements for people with certain drug-related convictions, including marijuana possession of up to 200 grams.

After the law took effect, the mayor of Cleveland said in April that the city will be moving forward with plans to seal thousands of cannabis records. However, a study published last week found that just about one in 10 Ohio prosecutors plan to follow suit by independently facilitating relief under the law.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

The post A Majority Of Ohio Voters—Including Most Republicans—Support Marijuana Legalization Initiative On November Ballot, New Survey Finds appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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