Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Bill
This new Ohio medical legalization effort is happening just six months after a recreational legalization ballot was defeated by a 64% to 36% vote. Regardless of the ballot failing Ohio state senate went on to bipartisanly pass the medical marijuana bill by just three votes. The house followed the senates 18-15 vote by a passing 67-28 vote.
The bill is now on the desk of Gov. John Kasich, pending his approval. Although he has expressed his support in the past for similar medical marijuana bills, there is no guarantee he will sign it. If he does sign the bill Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana, as well as the first state in the midwest to do so.
The bill comes as an effort to curb a more unrestrained medical bill from being passed. As ‘Ohioans for Medical Marijuana’ continue to gather the required number of signatures to put their proposals to a vote.
Lawmakers may think they have won by passing a more restrictive bill early, but a spokesman from Ohioans for Medical Marijuana’s campaign thinks otherwise. “Their support for medical marijuana speaks volumes for eliminating any remaining biases against allowing doctors to recommend this life-enhancing treatment to patients in need,” spokesman Aaron Marshall said in a statement.
Their proposals differ from the mostly republican led medical bill that was passed Wednesday, in that they would allow patients to grow plants themselves. In addition to this under Ohioans for Medical Marijuana’s proposal, the list of qualifying medical conditions would be expanded. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana has to collect roughly 300,000 signatures before July 6th to bring their proposals before the voters.
If passed, under the new laws patients would only be permitted to consume oil, edible, tincture or vapor forms of medical cannabis. Patients would not be allowed to smoke or grow their own marijuana under the measure. Ohio citizens won’t have direct access to medical marijuana until sometime in 2017. However, the bill included a provision to allow medical patients access to cannabis through dispensaries in other states.
As the bill currently stands, all cannabis cultivation and distribution would be managed by the State department of commerce. All doctors recommending cannabis and all pharmacists dispensing prescriptions would have to be certified. The state medical board will oversee all certifications as well as further doctors and pharmacists education on the subject. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy would register patients and license dispensaries.
Under the new bill to qualify for medical marijuana patients would have to be living with one of the following conditions, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is chronic, severe, or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, posttraumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.