COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans will soon be able to make their voices heard at the ballot box on the critical issues of reproductive rights and recreational marijuana.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released legal analysis of State Issues 1 and 2 ahead of the upcoming election. If passed, State Issue 1 could enshrine abortion rights into Ohio’s Constitution and State Issue 2 could legalize recreational use of marijuana. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohioans can find the summary of State Issue 1 here

  • Another analysis Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost provided on State Issue 2 can be found here

  • AG Yost put forth this webpage to help Ohioans learn more about November ballot initiatives

In Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s summary of State Issue 2, Yost hints at the potential repercussions of legalizing marijuana in Ohio. He also breaks down a thorough explanation of the potential impact legalization of marijuana could have on Ohio. Angela Phillips, a spokesperson of the Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Workers and Families, which opposes State Issue 2, calls the overall analysis fair.  

“I think it further explains what’s happening with the with State Issue 2 and how it will affect the current state with medical marijuana versus what’s right now illegal use,” Phillips said. “It highlights the fact that there’s a very specific language in the proposal to help growers that are already in existence and to help that industry grow.” 

Tom Haren with the Coalition to Legalize Marijuana like Alcohol believes Yost also offered a neutral analysis. But, the only portion he took issue with is when Yost said the proposal is not expected to eliminate the black market for marijuana. 

“Michigan has done a phenomenal job of stamping out the black market for marijuana,” Haren said. “In Ohio, State Issue 2 will do the same by enacting this robust regulatory framework, and capping the tax at 10%, which will still generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue to the state of Ohio. This proposal is going to put the black market for marijuana out of business.” 

Meanwhile, the attorney general’s summary on reproductive rights has sparked tension. And, while activists on both sides of the issue have different takes on what Yost is saying, they are more concerned with the role he should take on the initiative.

“The attorney general looked at the language and said the language passed strict scrutiny,” Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life said. “And then he allowed it to go forward. Now, we have our campaign and part of his duty is to say and look and oh, by the way, this is what the language means.” 

“It was not a requirement for the attorney general to put out an opinion,” said Lauren Blauvelt, Cochair Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights. “Yost should not have should not be using his public office to interfere in an election. And, after he sent that inappropriate letter, he went to an anti-abortion fundraiser.”