After a recent effort to recreationally legalize cannabis in Ohio failed, lawmakers passed a somewhat controversial medical cannabis proposal on Tuesday.
The Ohio House of Representatives passed the proposal in a 70-25 vote. Today, the Ohio Senate receives the proposal for deliberations and are expected to pass and enact the law by the end of the month. The program will take approximately two years to be operational.
Regardless of the Ohio legislature’s proposal, activists in the sate are working hard to put forth their own proposal on the November ballot.
“It’s a shame lawmakers couldn’t have made history with a vote on a substantive and meaningful medical marijuana bill,”
Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, stated in a press release.
“Today’s vote will only bring false hope and empty promises to Ohioans suffering from debilitating conditions who need medical marijuana.”
One of the key restrictions in the proposal many Ohio activists are not in favor of includes the ban of ‘smokeable marijuana.’ A restriction that has shown to impede patient’s access to medicine in Minnesota and New York.
Under the legislation, a nine-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission would set forth rules for cultivating, distributing and licensing cannabis. Communities can opt out of hosting dispensaries and employers who want to maintain ‘drug-free’ workplace would be protected from liability.