Marijuana legalisation across Ohio has suffered a set-back at the hands of the state’s governor.
Republican Mike DeWine has declared himself fully against relaxing the laws of recreational cannabis – just days after Cincinnati City Council voted to tear up criminal laws for possession of up to 100 grams.
“I don’t think it’s a great idea,” was the 70th governor of Ohio’s response.
“I’m against legalisation of marijuana. Yes, I am.”
The 72-year-old was speaking after a speech at the Cincinnati Rotary Club before distancing himself from the issue by stating he was not familiar with the details.
As of next month, Cincinnati will join dozens of other cities across the USA in ditching the hard-line policing of recreational cannabis. It will be the fourth city in Ohio to do the same, alongside Toledo, Dayton and Norwood.
Earlier this year, the state granted permission for hemp-derived products to be sold under licence if grown by approved cultivators.
Senator DeWine, however, is determined to prevent the relaxation of laws going any further. The anti-cannabis father-of-eight has also stressed on several occasions he has never tried cannabis, and believes the drug is a risk to the health of young people.
Drop in IQ
“We have evidence now that if someone is using marijuana and their brain is still developing, which can be up until their twenties, if they use it regularly, they can have a significant, permanent drop in IQ,” he slammed.
“Some people look at marijuana as just some benign drug, and it’s really not.”
In a curious legal twist, state law will still apply to the cities where cannabis legislation is being eased, but police officials have announced they would opt to use the new city laws instead. By Ohio law, possession of 100 to 200 grams is viewed as a misdemeanour with a maximum sentence of 30 days in prison and a fine of $250. Possession of more than 200 grams is subject to felony charges.