Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill has entered the state gubernatorial race and is including a cannabis tax-and-regulate plan in his platform, the Associated Press reports. O’Neill indicated his plan would drive more than $200 million in taxes a year for the state.
Additionally, O’Neill’s cannabis law reforms would include releasing all non-violent prisoners convicted of cannabis crimes, which he says would save the state another $100 million annually. The funds saved and raised through the reforms would be used to build a state-run mental health system to help “treat addiction like the disease it is,” he said in the report.
O’Neill, 70, will be forced to retire from the state Supreme Court when his current term ends in Jan. 2019 due to age limits; instead, he will vacate the bench by the Feb. 7 candidate filing deadline.
O’Neill joins a Democratic field that includes former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whalen. The Republican hopefuls include Attorney General Mike DeWine, U.S. Rep Jim Renacci, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and television host Jerry Springer are also reportedly considering running for the post.
Ohio‘s current Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is ineligible to run due to term limits.