Medical Marijuana Legislation (HB 523) Awaits Gov. Kasich’s Signature

As reported in previous emails, HB 523 is about to become law – it is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  Once the bill is signed, Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.   

Legislators acknowledged being uneasy with legalizing medical marijuana; however, they realized that there was overwhelming public support for medical marijuana and they had heard compelling stories from patients and others about how the drug’s medicinal qualities could be of use in certain circumstances. 

The AMCNO Board of Directors adopted a policy on medical marijuana, which did not support all aspects of the bill (to view the AMCNO position statement click here). However, the bill does have some components that do align with our position, such as requiring that only a licensed physician can prescribe the drug, not allowing for homegrown marijuana, and supporting reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II drug to allow for additional clinical research.  There were also several oversight aspects added to the bill which are important as well. 

Legislators reviewing the legislation were concerned about the threat of a November constitutional ballot issue; however, one day after the legislature passed the bill, the group seeking a November vote on the issue announced the suspension of their campaign. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, backed by the national Marijuana Policy Project, said the legislature’s plan, even though it does not allow home grow and smoking as the ballot issue would have, was tweaked sufficiently in the end stages of deliberations to provide a viable alternative for patients seeking the benefits of the drug.

To read more about HB 523, click here.

The Pollen Line is now closed. See you in the spring!

Grass: 0
Mold: 0

Weed: 0

Tree: 0

Ragweed: 0

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