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November 30, 2016

Marijuana Legalization the Focus of December’s Policy Snapshot

December 2016 Policy SnapshotSupport for marijuana legalization has been growing over time across the United States, with a recent poll suggesting that 54 percent of registered voters support legalizing the use of marijuana and 41 percent of registered voters oppose legalization. Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states, including Ohio, and the District of Columbia. An additional 16 states have legalized limited medical marijuana use. On November 8, residents of California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana while a similar measure did not pass in Arizona. Recreational marijuana is now legal in a total of 8 states and the District of Columbia, although a recount of ballots cast in Maine could impact that number.

While support for marijuana legalization has been growing over time, tension exists between those who seek to ensure that the medicinal properties of the drug are available to people with certain health conditions and behavioral health experts who have grave concerns about laws and legislation that increase the availability and acceptability of any drug. Ohio’s recent legalization of medical marijuana leaves many unanswered questions that need to be carefully considered if the law’s intent to treat individuals with certain health conditions is to be fully realized without any unintended consequences.

The Center’s December 2016 Policy Snapshot, Marijuana Legalization, examines Ohio’s medical marijuana law, arguments made by legalization advocates and detractors, and implications for healthcare providers. 

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