John Kasich signed Ohio’s medical marijuana bill into law yesterday, making it the 25th state (26 counting Washington, D.C.) to allow some form of medical marijuana use.
Ohio’s measure is more restrictive than medical marijuana bills in many other states. It does not allow patients to smoke marijuana — they must ingest it orally via edible products, or use a vaporizer. It doesn’t allow patients to grow their own marijuana, and only a handful of conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and cancer, qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.
This year has been a symbolically significant year for medical marijuana policy: with the passage of legislation in Pennsylvania and Ohio nearly 175 million Americans — over half of the population — now have access to medical marijuana.
These changes are putting pressure on the federal government to update a decades-old marijuana policy that most experts agree is out of step with current scientific understanding of the drug and its risks and benefits. [Read more at The Washington Post]