Medical marijuana patients in Ohio are cheering today after the state’s Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Wednesday legalizing a limited therapeutic pot program.
Ohio’s new medical marijuana law bans home-growing or smokeable forms of the botanical analgesic, anti-nausea and anti-spasmodic medicine. But patients will be able to vaporize weed.
The law takes effect in 90 days, meaning patients with a doctors note could possess and use the medical cannabis they have from the black market.
Over the next two years, Ohio will license its own supply chain of medical cannabis, with lawful growers, processors, stores and testing labs. Cities and towns can ban dispensaries in their jurisdiction. Patients can still be fired for any cannabis use in their home in off hours.
It’s a huge victory for medical marijuana advocates this election year. Lawmakers faced extreme pressure to pass a medical pot law or face a voter initiative in the Fall. Marijuana Policy Project has since dropped their funding for such an initiative.
Qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Ohio include: HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic, severe, and intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis. Individuals can petition the state medical board to add conditions.
“This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine,” said Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall. “As we continue this movement to bring medical marijuana to all Buckeyes who need it, we will remember today as a huge step forward.”
“Congratulations to all the patients and advocates whose intense advocacy efforts helped to make this day into a reality,” Marshall continued. “We still have much work ahead of us to improve this imperfect law while holding state lawmakers and regulators to the promises contained in HB 523, but we are proud of the role that we played in getting this law enacted. We plan on working to better this program, utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements.”
Which state do you think will be next to legalize?