In recent years, there has been a growing movement to legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use in many states across the United States. Ohio is one of those states, and in 2016, the state passed legislation legalizing medical marijuana. Since then, there has been much debate over whether or not to legalize recreational cannabis in Ohio. This article will take a look at the current state of Ohiocanabis legalization and what you need to know about it.
Medical Marijuana In Ohio
In 2016, Ohio became the 25th state in the US to legalize medical marijuana. The state’s medical marijuana program is overseen by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), which regulates the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana. The program allows patients with qualifying medical conditions to obtain medical marijuana cards, which allows them to purchase and use medical marijuana products.
Qualifying medical conditions for Ohio’s medical marijuana program include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Ulcerative colitis
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio, patients must first obtain a recommendation from a physician who is certified by the state to recommend medical marijuana. Patients can then apply for a medical marijuana card through the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website.
Once patients have obtained a medical marijuana card, they have access to a variety of medical marijuana products, including:
- Flower (the dried and cured form of the cannabis plant)
- Edibles (foods and drinks infused with cannabis)
- Tinctures (liquid cannabis extracts)
- Topicals (cannabis-infused creams, lotions, and balms)
- Vape cartridges (cannabis oil cartridges for use with vaporizers)
Recreational Cannabis In Ohio
Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio, but recreational cannabis is still illegal. However, there has been growing support for recreational cannabis legalization in the state. A 2020 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 58% of Ohio voters support the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Proponents of recreational cannabis legalization argue that it would create jobs, generate tax revenue, and reduce the burden on law enforcement. However, opponents of legalization argue that it could lead to increased use among young people and could have negative public health effects.
Currently, there are no ballot initiatives or legislative efforts to legalize recreational cannabis in Ohio. However, lawmakers have introduced several bills that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. These bills would reduce possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis from a misdemeanor to a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $150.
Impact Of Cannabis Legalization In Ohio
The legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio has had a significant impact on the state’s economy and healthcare system. According to a report from the Ohio Department of Commerce, the state’s medical marijuana program generated $175.8 million in sales in 2020, its second year of operation. This has created jobs and generated tax revenue for the state.
In addition, the legalization of medical marijuana has provided patients with an alternative treatment option for a variety of medical conditions. Patients who use medical marijuana report improvements in their symptoms, including pain, anxiety, and depression.
However, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Ohio would have an even greater impact on the state’s economy and healthcare system. According to a report from the Marijuana Policy Project, legalizing recreational cannabis in Ohio could generate up to $554 million in tax revenue per year, create thousands of jobs, and reduce the burden on law enforcement.
Furthermore, the legalization of recreational cannabis could have a positive impact on public health. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, states with legal recreational cannabis have seen a reduction in opioid overdose deaths. This is because cannabis can be used as a substitute for opioids for pain management.