Nichole Hannahs

Anti-Drug Group Prepares for Fight

by Nichole Hannahs on February 28, 2013 at 6:43 am

Anti-drug groups prepare for a fight to keep a possible medical marijuana amendment from passing.

The issue could make the ballot as early as November and one drug prevention specialist spent time at the State House in Columbus taking part in an event to get educated about the drug.

Muskingum Behavioral Health’s Steve Carrel  said that the issue shouldn’t be put to a public vote. Instead, he said marijuana for medical purposes needs to be put through testing.

"If you truly have medical marijuana it would be processed to get the chemical or chemicals out that has an affect on a disease or a disease state and you know exactly how much is going into your body and it’s been tested rigorously to show that it have an effect on that," said Executive Director Steve Carrel.

Carrel said research shows states with medical marijuana have very little regulations and smoking is not a good method to administer medication.

"The perception of danger of smoking marijuana is at an all time low. There’s no perceived risk," said Carrel. "The more perceived risk the less likely a person is to use."

There are existing drugs and others in the testing stage that contain components of marijuana, but are dispensed in pill form. One such drug is Marinol, which is often prescribed for cancer and aids patients.

The Ohio Ballot Board approved last year the way for supporters of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment to begin gathering the over 380,000 signatures to qualify for ballot.

The groups have until July 6th to submit names.