Rep. Lepore-Hagan: Proposal To Legalize Medical Marijuana Passes Ohio House
House Bill 523 aims to give patients, doctors alternatives for treatment of severe injuries, illnesses

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS.

“Today I voted for HB 523 because the proposal, although not perfect, represents a critically important first step toward making the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana available to patients and doctors in our state,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I commend the members of the committee, patients, patient advocates and physicians who devoted considerable time and energy to shaping the legislation. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate and Governor Kasich will join the House in approving HB 523 so that Ohioans suffering from chronic pain and illnesses will finally be able to seek relief through medical marijuana.”

Under the bill, patients would receive treatment from physicians who must obtain a license to prescribe medical marijuana. The physicians would be required to send clinical reports to a Medical Marijuana Control Commission every 90 days. Doctors could prescribe cannabis oil, tinctures, plant material, edibles or patches to treat a variety of medical illnesses. The bill allows cannabis to be vaporized, but not smoked.

The Medical Marijuana Control Commission created in HB 523 is an appointed nine-member board responsible for licensing the cultivators, processors, retail dispensaries and independent labs that grow, test and distribute medical marijuana. In conjunction with the State Medical Board, the commission regulates and oversees physicians who prescribe marijuana. The commission is also charged with adopting rules to qualify past low-level marijuana offenders to work in the industry.

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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