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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

Ohio voters are set to face significant decisions this November as they cast their ballots on two crucial initiatives. The first, Issue 1, addresses the right to make reproductive decisions, particularly concerning abortion. The second, Issue 2, tackles the controversial topic of marijuana legalization. Register to vote and approach the polls well-informed about your choice.

Issue 1: Right to Make reproductive decision including abortion

In Ohio, abortion is currently legal up to 21 weeks and six days of pregnancy. The Ohio Physicians of Reproductive Rights have raised concerns about reproductive autonomy, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and the enactment of the Ohio House Bill 258/Senate Bill 23 commonly known as the “heartbeat bill.”

Voting Yes:

  • Establishing a State Constitutional Right: This initiative seeks to establish a state constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s reproductive decisions,” encompassing decisions about abortion, contraception, and fertility treatment.
  • Restriction on Abortion: While recognizing this right, the initiative would allow the state to restrict abortion after fetal viability, except when “necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health”

Voting No

  • Opposition: Those opposing initiatives do not want to amend the Ohio Constitution to establish the constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions”

Issue 2: The Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Sponsored by The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol (CRMLA), Issue 2 has garnered substantial attention and funding. With reported contribution of $4.62 million, the Marijuana Policy Project stands out as its top donor, contributing a significant $2.52 million. Ohio Governor Mike Dewine, a Republican, has vocally opposed this initiative. If passed, Ohio would join the ranks of 23 other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational and personal use.

Voting Yes

  • Regulation by a New Division: A new Division of Cannabis Control would be established to oversee the sale and purchase of marijuana, including cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, and home growth.
  • Home Cultivation: Individuals would be permitted to cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home, while households could cultivate up to 12 plants collectively.
  • Legal Age for Use and Possession: Persons aged 21 and older would be allowed to use and possess marijuana, including up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
  • Possession Limits: Adults would be able to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates.
  • Taxation: A 10% tax on marijuana would be enacted, with revenue directed toward establishing a cannabis social equity and jobs program. This program aims to provide financial support and assistance for license applications to individuals disproportionately affected by past marijuana-related law enforcement.

Voting No

  • Opposition: Some groups and individuals oppose this initiative for various reasons, which may include concerns about the potential impact on public health and safety or opposition to the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

The coming months will see vigorous debates and campaigns from both sides of these initiatives, as Ohioans prepare to make their voices heard on November 7th. The decisions made on these issues will not only shape Ohio’s future but also have broader implications for the ongoing national discussions on marijuana legalization and reproductive rights.

Gigi Redinger is a currently a Junior at Ohio University majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication, minoring in Marketing, and pursuing a certificate in Social Media. Gigi is the Social Media Director of HCOU, a member of Ohio University's PRSSA, and member of Kappa Alpha Zeta (KAZ). Gigi is determined to provide honest reporting, create engaging material, and share her tips and tricks as a female college student.