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New Study on Taxing Recreational Marijuana Finds Benefits for Ohio

Photo of marijuana
Statehouse News Bureau
A study from the Tax Foundation finds that revenue generated from legalized recreational marijuana, although not a major part of the state's budget, could go to programs that serve people and communities that have been struggling with drugs.

Recreational marijuana could generate tax revenue in Ohio of up to $220 million, if it were legalized. That’s according to a study conducted by the Tax Foundation, a Washington D.C. think tank focused on tax policy.

Ulrik Boesen is the author of the study. He says that money could be put to good use.

BOESEN Rec Marijuana Tax Study 041521.WAV
Boesen: taxation advantages

“So whether that's spending on youth prevention campaigns, whether that's investing in communities that have been hit by the war on drugs, whether that's spending to help people who may want to stop using cannabis. There's meaningful revenue there that isn't generated today, but the need may still be there today,” he said.

Boesen says the revenue from a recreational marijuana tax may seem large, but it wouldn’t be significant to the state’s overall budget.

He adds it should not be used to offset other sources like income or property taxes, and lawmakers should focus on legalizing recreational marijuana from a moral and ethical standpoint rather than a financial one.

Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.