Ohio Governor John Casich just signed a bill paves the road to legalization of medical marijuana in the state – even if practical application might take a while.
Two decades after the movement for medical marijuana started bearing fruit. Ohio finally joined the growing list of states (25 at the moment) that allow legal distribution of cannabis-based products to patients. The Midwestern state has adopted quite a liberal bill that will enable some patients to smoke the plant in their homes. Although they won’t be able to grow it on their own. That way, the state responded to growing demands for legislative change without the need for a ballot initiative, even as several were being prepared.
Medical Marijuana Bill
The new bill was officially approved and will go into effect within 90 days of signing, but it could be some time before it actually brings any benefits to the patients. There is a long procedure that needs to be implemented before dispensaries may commence work, and it is expected to take up to two years to complete it. State government needs to create the body that will be responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the measure – Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee – before the implementation can progress to a more palpable phase. At this time, it is impossible to know how the dispensaries will be organized, other than being under control of Ohio Department of Commerce.
While this move is hardly revolutionary and comes at a time when other states are discussing full legalization, it nonetheless serves to stabilize the picture and unify America behind the movement for weed decriminalization. It will certainly bring significant relief to a large group of people while removing a reason for breaking the law meaninglessly by those who are otherwise very unlikely to do so. That in itself is enough to feel good about the future, although the patients will still have to deal with legal obstacles until the government solves the implementation puzzle.
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