Ohio PAC sponsors medical marijuana ballot initiative

July 12, 2011

Ohio proponents of medical marijuana use are working to get the issue on the ballot for the November 2012 general election, hoping to see the drug finally approved for medical use in the state.

Ohio proponents of medical marijuana use are working to get the issue on the ballot for the November 2012 general election, hoping to see the drug finally approved for medical use in the state.

A political action committee (PAC) known as the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 is proposing an initiative it has titled the Ohio Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2012. The act would create a new supervisory body, the Ohio Commission of Medical Cannabis Control, and patients with qualifying medical conditions would have to obtain a written “recommendation” from their doctors. “This recommendation will enable them to secure a photo ID registry card … that enables them to use, buy, possess, and transport a maximum of 200 g of usable cannabis, “ announced a statement from the PAC.

Bill Winslow, executive director of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, does not think it is likely that the issue will go to general election. “They [proponents] have introduced bills every session. Ohio’s House and Senate are both Republican, and they have been fairly conservative on this issue,” Winslow said.

Ohio pharmacists oppose medical marijuana use, according to Winslow, because the active properties of marijuana vary so widely. “It depends on where it was grown, what the weather was like at the time, and other factors. We would have to be telling people, ‘Go out and do this and maybe it will help and maybe it will cause you to go overboard,’” Winslow said.

In addition, pharmacies would not be allowed to dispense medical marijuana, even if the act were approved. “It would violate DEA regulations. Depending on how the act is set up, it could be putting our prescribers and pharmacists at risk of violating federal law,” Winslow said.

If the act is put on the 2012 state ballot, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy will work to oppose the effort, Winslow added.