Ohio State Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Ohio State Senate

Unsplash / Public Domain / Mari Helen-Tuominen

On May 25, 2016, the Ohio State Senate voted to approve a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. According to The Columbus Dispatch, the bill passed by the skin of its teeth, with 18 senators voting in favor and 15 voting against.

The bill would legalize marijuana oil, patches, tinctures, and plant material, but patients would not be allowed to smoke it; medical marijuana would have to be vaporized or consumed. Also, home cultivation would not be allowed.

Although Sen. Edna Brown attempted to remove provisions that allow patients to be fired by employers for medical marijuana use, Cincinnati.com reported that her proposal was promptly rejected. In addition to allowing employers to fire patients, said patients would be considered ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Despite some criticism from the democratic side of the aisle, the senators ultimately voted in favor of a compromise.

“This bill is not perfect, folks, but it’s what Ohio patients need,” Sen. Kenny Yuko said. “If we can give just one veteran comfort, if we can ease just one cancer patient’s pain, if we can save one child’s life, this bill will be worth it.”

The bill will now go before Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has signaled openness to the concept, for final approval.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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