What To Expect Now That Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signed Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law
Cannabis use for medical purposes is now legal in Ohio. Governor John Kasich has signed a medical marijuana legalization bill into law this week.
Kasich's decision marks Ohio as the 25th state to approve medical marijuana use after state lawmakers passed a cannabis legalization plan in May, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The governor was previously silent about whether he supports the legalization of medical marijuana, saying that he would like to help ill children to get relief from their pain.
Last year, Kasich said that medical marijuana isn't the cure for people in Ohio with untreatable seizures and other debilitating conditions, Clevaland.com reported. However, Kasich's stance softened during the presidential campaign trail and ultimately signed the bill, which will be effective in three months.
Ohio's medical marijuana program will be controlled by the Ohio State Pharmacy Board, State Medical Board and Department of Commerce, Cleveland.com listed. An advisory board with 14 members would advise those three regulatory agencies about rulings for medical marijuana use.
Recreational Use Of Marijuana Is Still Illegal
People in Ohio can buy medical marijuana from other states as early as Sept. 6 and as long as they have a doctor's referral. It will take eight months for the Department of Commerce to formulate regulations for marijuana growers and cultivators. During those months, doctors who wish to recommend medical marijuana use to their patients must apply for a certificate at the Ohio State Medical Board.
People in Ohio will be unable to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries in-state until 2017 or early 2018. The law still dictates that it's illegal to smoke marijuana in a recreational fashion even if it was not purchased in Ohio. Oils, edibles, patches, tinctures and vaporizers are alright.
Medical marijuana growers are not allowed to produce the plant within 500 feet of a school, public playground, church, public park or public library. People with criminal convictions aren't allowed to be marijuana growers either.
Which Debilitating Illnesses Are Covered?
People can still get fired by their employers if they use medical marijuana while in a workplace with zero drug tolerance policy. Those who got fired for violating office policies will not receive unemployment compensation after.
As provided by Cincinnati Enquirer, listed below are the medical illnesses allowed in the medical marijuana program:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer's disease
- chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn's disease
- epilepsy or another seizure condition
- hepatitis C
- inflammatory bowel disease
- multiple sclerosis
- chronic, severe or intractable pain
- Parkinson's disease
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- sickle cell anemia
- spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette's syndrome
- traumatic brain injury
- ulcerative colitis