Congratulations Ohio For Becoming the 25th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law yesterday that will legalize medical marijuana in the state. The new law makes Ohio the 25th state to pass medical marijuana.
The bill was first introduced back in April. From there it quickly moved through the Statehouse.
After lawmakers had made a series of changes, the bill passed the House on May 25. It went on to narrowly clear the Senate by just two votes.
And the entire process was completed yesterday when Kasich signed the final bill into law.
The new law will go into effect in 90 days. That means that Ohioans will be able to begin using medical marijuana sometime this fall.
When the law goes into effect, people with an approved health condition will be able to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
The list of health conditions includes things like HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, PTSD, and several others.
Although patients in Ohio will be allowed to use cannabis this year, there won’t be any licensed growers or suppliers in the state until 2017 or 2018. That means that for the first year, or so Ohio patients will have to travel to other states to get their cannabis.
Lawmakers said that it would take about eight months to create rules for growers and suppliers.
Then it will take time for approved growers actually to grow the cannabis and for dispensary owners to set up shop.
Lawmakers think the full medical marijuana program will be up and running sometime in 2017 or 2018.
“This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine,” said Aaron Marshall.
Marshall is a spokesperson for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. The group was working to introduce a different medical cannabis bill to Ohio lawmakers.
After this current bill had been passed, the group stopped its efforts.
And while Marshall said the new law will be a big step forward, many in the cannabis community still see room for improvement.
For example, medical marijuana patients in Ohio will not be allowed to grow their plants.
They also won’t be allowed to smoke marijuana. The only forms of consumption that will be protected under the new law will be vaporizing, oils, tinctures, patches, and edibles.
And finally, even if a person has a doctor’s prescription for medical cannabis they can still be fired for using marijuana if it violates their employer’s rules.