ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law that will legalize medical marijuana for Ohio. However, the bill doses not come without its restrictions.
The bill only allows for people to use the drug in a vapor form. Smoking the drug and growing it at home will remain illegal and doctors who prescribe marijuana must be appointed by the state. Steve Carrel with Muskingum Behavioral Health said he saw the bill as a good compromise.
“It didn’t go through the FDA so it’s not really medicine,” said Carrel. “However, on the flip side of it, it was going to happen. And if it was going to happen the legislature, I believe, did a very good job of finding the middle ground between the opposition and the proponents. So overall it’s a pretty decent bill.”
The bill will take effect in 90 days but Governor Kasich said that the medical marijuana program won’t be fully operational for another two years. And for those hoping that this will be the first step for legal-recreational marijuana, Carrel said don’t get your hopes.
“Maybe in the distant future. Ohio’s a very conservative state, always has been,” said Carrel. “I know an awful lot of people who are upset with this law. I don’t know that full legalization of marijuana would pass in this state in the near future. I really don’t think so.”
This bill makes Ohio the 25th state to legalize a medical marijuana program.