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Rep. Ramos: Ohio pushes nation past halfway point for access to legal medical marijuana

Landmark legislation will give patients, doctors alternatives for treatment of severe injuries, illnesses
May 25, 2016
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) today announced the final passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS. Ohio will become the 26th state in the nation to grant access to legal medical marijuana once the bill is signed into law.    

“After an historic vote, Ohio citizens suffering from severe pain or chronic illness will now be able to seek relief through the use of this non-addictive medicine,” said Ramos, who served as ranking minority member of the Select Committee on Medical Marijuana, was a founding member of the Medical Marijuana Task Force, and was instrumental in penning HB 523. “From children with seizure disorders to returning war heroes with PTSD, this bill will help to manage symptoms that get in the way of everyday life. I am honored to have had the opportunity to take part in drafting monumental legislation that will dramatically change so many people’s lives for the better.”

Oversight and regulation of the new medical marijuana system will be shared amongst several state agencies, including the Department of Commerce, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the Ohio State Medical Board. A new 13-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission will be established to promulgate rules and advise the aforementioned agencies.

Under the legislation, patients may receive treatment from physicians who obtain a license to prescribe medical marijuana. Doctors could prescribe cannabis oil, tinctures, plant material, edibles or patches to treat 20 serious medical conditions specifically listed in the bill. The measure also allows cannabis to be vaporized by patients, but not smoked. 

The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.