Poll: Majority of Ohioans support marijuana legalization

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Twenty states have approved marijuana for medical use. According to a new poll, the majority of Ohioans think it should be legal in the state as well.

The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 87 percent of Ohio voters back the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

Only a handful of states allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes.

"20 years now for medicinal in California should be long enough to have proven that this is something to do," said E.R. Beach, owner of Hemptations.

Ohio voters are in favor of the idea, at least this time.

"The fact that it's working as a medicine for so many people in those states where it's already legal is just a testament to those numbers that 85 to 90 percent of the people believe this should be a medicine available," said Beach.

The DEA lists drugs like marijuana, alongside heroin, ecstasy and LSD as Schedule I drugs, which they consider to be among the most dangerous with a high possibility of abuse

"You're increasing access not just to adults, but to young people, to children and adolescents.  When that happens, and we've seen these in the other states, youth use goes up. Addiction rates go up," said Mary Haag of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati.

For those working to keep our communities drug-free, there are just too many unanswered questions.

"We believe, if it's a medicine, that it needs to go through the FDA process and testing to be proven effective, and those parameters of, what's the dose, what's the side effects, what's the drug interaction," said Haag.

E.R. Beach owns Hemptations, and works with the Ohio Rights Group. They're working on a petition for a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana and industrial hemp. They need 385,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. Beach tells FOX19 they have about 50,000 of the required signatures.

"The numbers prove once again, every poll that we're going to see from here on out is going to be just one more poll that's going to show that people are in favor of this," said Beach.

According to the Quinnipiac University poll, slightly more than 50 percent of the population supports adults legally possessing a small amount of marijuana. Fifty-one percent of  support the idea.

Other controversial topics in the poll include to views Ohions have on allowing same-sex marriage.

The poll also depicts the trends of the legality of abortion.

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