Medical Marijuana

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Attorneys are asking whether Ohio's new medical marijuana law that bars employers from disciplining professionals from working with marijuana businesses applies to them.

Lawyers have submitted at least two requests for formal opinions on the matter to the state Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct. Only the state's high court can discipline licensed attorneys.

Attorneys want to know whether lawyers can use medical marijuana, own or operate medical marijuana businesses and represent marijuana cultivators, processors, dispensaries, patients and caregivers.

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Republican Gov. John Kasich has signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio, though patients shouldn't expect to get it from dispensaries here anytime soon.

While the law takes effect in 90 days, the medical marijuana program won't be running by then. It's expected to be fully operational in about two years.

The measure lays out a number of steps that must happen first, including the writing of rules for retailers and cultivators.

Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau

After nearly twenty years of trying, backers of a bill to allow medical marijuana in the Buckeye state are celebrating a historic vote by the Ohio Legislature, and is headed to the governor.

Democratic Senator Kenny Yuko has been pushing for medical marijuana legislation for years, and he was given the opportunity to preside over the Senate for the historic vote.

The slim 18-15 victory came without the support of Republican Senate president Keith Faber, who says he had a lot of concerns about the plan, though it had been backed by Republican leaders in the House.

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The Ohio House committee that’s been working on a new bill to allow medical marijuana has voted its new legislation out of committee.

The bill would allow medical marijuana in edibles, oils and other products, but it would not allow patients to smoke or grow marijuana plants. Republican State Representative Kirk Schuring says the plan restricts how doctors can recommend marijuana for patients and the process under which it could be done.

“I think we’ve got a good plan,” said Schuring. 

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Ohio lawmakers plan to legalize medical marijuana by summer in an effort they say is more responsible and comprehensive than any ballot proposal.
 
It comes as a medical marijuana question is working its way to Ohio's fall ballot.

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Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected the summary for a statewide ballot issue seeking to legalize both medical marijuana and industrial hemp in Ohio.

Monday's action means the Ohio Rights Group must rephrase its petitions and resubmit petition language to proceed.

DeWine found its summary failed to divulge that industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis would be "researched, regulated, and promoted by the state in a manner substantially similar to other agricultural crops" under the plan. He said the wording also misrepresented how the age limit of 21 would work.

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A national group seeking to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio has released its proposed language for a constitutional amendment it wants voters to decide in November.

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project wants to make Ohio the 24th state along with the District of Columbia with similar laws legalizing medical marijuana.

Ohio’s legislative leaders have a task force and are holding public meetings to study the possibility of allowing some sort of medical marijuana here.  But regardless of what they do, a national group plans to put a medical marijuana plan before voters this fall.

The Marijuana Policy Project has been active in passing legalized marijuana plans in five states. Spokesman Mason Tvert says it plans to put legalization of medical marijuana on Ohio’s ballot this fall, regardless of what the state legislature does.

 

A Democratic lawmaker who suffers from multiple sclerosis says Ohioans are growing impatient waiting for medical marijuana. Sen. Kenny Yuko says he wants to come up with a way to license and regulate medical marijuana, saying he feels it’s time for state lawmakers to stop joking about the medical marijuana proposals he repeatedly sponsors.

“Every time we mention medical marijuana, immediately people envision Cheech and Chong, George Carlin and the millions of times I’ve heard the jokes how many joint sponsors do you have for your legislation?”

People who want medical marijuana in Ohio say they are ready to vote for Issue 3, even if they don’t particularly like all of the aspects of the plan.

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