Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2016
Source: Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Copyright: 2016 The Associated Press
Author: Ann Sanner, The Associated Press


Ohio became the latest state in the nation to legalize medical 
marijuana after Republican Gov. John Kasich signed legislation Wednesday.

The law allows people to use the drug in vapor form for certain 
chronic health conditions, while barring patients from smoking 
marijuana or growing it at home.

Kasich's signature makes Ohio the 25th state to legalize a 
comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to a count by the 
National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio's bill drew both support and opposition from Republicans and 
Democrats when it cleared the legislature late last month. Lawmakers 
had moved quickly on the measure as they looked to offset support for 
a proposed fall ballot issue. The group behind the ballot effort has 
since dropped its plan and called the legislation "a step forward."

Kasich signed the legislation in private. His office announced it in 
a press release.

The law is slated to take effect in 90 days, though the medical 
marijuana program won't be up and running by then. It's expected to 
be fully operational in about two years.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, State Medical Board and Board of 
Pharmacy will all play a role in regulating medical marijuana and 
those who cultivate, test, use and dispense it.

Employers could continue to enforce drug-testing policies and 
maintain drug-free workplaces.

Towns could move to ban dispensaries or limit the number of them. The 
bill also sets some parameters for dispensaries, cultivators and 
testing laboratories. They could not be located within 500-feet of 
schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds or parks.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom