News and Headlines


Ohioans Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana by Passing Issue 2

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Ohio after voters passed Issue 2. The proposed law passed with 56.79% of the vote, or 2.144 million voters out of nearly 3.8 million who had cast ballots in the race.

Issue 2 legalizes and regulates the cultivation, manufacturing, testing and the sale of marijuana to Ohioans 21 and up. It also legalizes home grow for Ohioans 21 and up with a limit of six plants per person and 12 plants per residence, and imposes a 10% tax at the point of sale for each transaction.

Ohio is the 24th state to legalize recreational use marijuana. Recreational marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and it is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

More than half of the United States population now lives in a jurisdiction where the possession and use of marijuana is legal, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Issue 2 establishes the Division of Cannabis Control within the Ohio Department of Commerce which will “regulate, investigate, and penalize adult use cannabis operators, adult use testing laboratories and individuals required to be licensed.”


New Federal Data Offers Snapshot of America’s Substance Use Crisis, Mental Health Needs

On Monday, HHS and SAMHSA released the results of the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The report provides population-level intelligence about the behavioral health needs providers and policymakers must address.

The new survey data set shows that illicit substance use among adults in the U.S. is on the rise. However, this has not yet translated into increased rates of what researchers could classify as substance use disorder (SUD), which remained stable in 2022.

The NSDUH surveys people ages 12 and older. Researchers completed 71,369 interviews for a nationally representative data set in 2022. Year over year, the data show few dramatic increases or decreases in self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use; substance use disorders; mental health conditions; suicidal thoughts and behaviors; and substance use and mental health treatment.


SAMHSA: Only 8 States Have ‘Well-Developed’ Value-Based Care Initiatives for Addiction Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds that meaningful development of value-based care policies for addiction treatment among the states is a rarity.

Only eight states have “well-developed and ongoing” initiatives for addiction treatment, according to a new report released Monday.

Twenty-four states had quality performance initiatives in their Medicaid programs, while 20 had low or no evidence of value-based care policies.

The report was short on specific care-focused outcomes, citing “a lack of data on the impact of [value-based care] on clinical outcomes.”

It did say that value-based care models allow providers flexibility and enable “person-centered” care.


Ohio's SFY24 Crisis Academy Series: Ohio's Crisis Systems Landscape-Stabilize and Thrive

The next Crisis Academy on Ohio’s Crisis System Landscape- Stabilize & Thrive has been scheduled for December 8th. The webinar will cover Ohio’s Crisis Systems Landscape Analysis and focus on the second two principles of building Ohio’s Crisis Services System- Stabilize and Thrive. Speakers for this session will include Kris Vilamaa, Owner and CEO of HealthCare Perspective, and Michelle Allison-Smith, Crisis System Administrator at OhioMHAS. Additionally, this session will highlight three Ohio programs that focus on crisis intervention with observation, crisis residential services, and crisis residential-RESPITE.

  • The webinar is scheduled for December 8th, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  
  • CEUs have been requested for Ohio social workers, counselors, SUD treatment and prevention professionals.
  • The webinar will be free to attend, but advance registration is required. Register here.  

Marijuana Use Increases Risk of Heart Attacks, New Studies Suggest

Two new studies suggest that regular use of marijuana could be linked to a higher risk of heart failure or heart attack, especially among older people. 

The preliminary findings of the studies, which have yet to be published, will be presented next week at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2023 in Philadelphia.

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