Buckeye State soon to be red-eye state with marijuana legalization

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 4:07 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The legalization of recreational marijuana puff, puff passed in Ohio Tuesday - allowing anyone over the age of 21 to buy, possess and grow weed.

But not everyone has high expectations for the new law.

Ohio Representative Bob Latta is blunt with his criticisms.

“Marijuana is a gateway drug, and it’s being shown now that it is a gateway drug,” said Latta. “What are we gonna do? Promote more drug use in Ohio - when we should be saying, we don’t want people using drugs.”

Ohio is now the 24th state to spark up this green industry.

Ali Khaled, who owns a dispensary in Washington D.C. says his shop is contributing to the kush economy.

“We pay taxes for everything now,” said Khaled.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, just one year after Colorado legalized weed, their state GDP shot up 4.4 percent.

They estimate legalization rolled in as much as 185 million dollars in tax revenue in 2016 alone.

There are other benefits too.

The Libretarian think-tank CATO institute found that after legalization, violent crime in Denver dropped almost 9 percent.

“Instead of going to street dealers, and getting it from street people, you know what I mean?” said Khaled. “People get robbed and people do this - you go to a safe place where people know and studied it, you know what I mean? It’s better”

The Ohio law goes into effect in 30 days. Weed will now be regulated similar to alcohol.