Agencies consider medical marijuana rules
Last update: December 9, 2016
Since passage of the Ohio Legislature’s medical marijuana law earlier this year, the various regulatory agencies involved have begun drafting rules that will guide how the program operates. The first set of proposed rules related to cultivation were presented on November 1. Other rules, related to doctors, the registry, dispensaries, and testing, are still in development, and we expect they will be published in the coming months.
Patients now technically qualify for a provision of the new law called the affirmative defense. While such a defense can provide some protections for patients, so far, the state has not established a certification process for physicians to make recommendations effective. Unfortunately, without further guidance, it is unclear what effect it might have or how doctors can proceed with helping their patients.
September 8 was the first step in a long process, and MPP and Ohioans for Medical Marijuana continue to watch that process closely. Many important policy decisions that will directly affect the success or failure of the system are yet to be made, so stay tuned as the process unfolds. Be sure to subscribe to our Ohio alerts for information and ways to make your voice heard on particular issues.
Marijuana laws in Ohio
Possession of less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered “minor misdemeanors,” punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A minor misdemeanor is not a “jailable” offense, but a person’s driver’s license can be suspended for a period ranging from six months to five years.
While Ohio’s marijuana penalties are less draconian than its neighbors, law enforcement officers are still wasting valuable time and resources. In 2012, Ohio officers arrested or cited 14,374 people for marijuana-related offenses, 94% of which were for possession only. At the same time, 91.6% of all reported burglaries — including home invasions — and 90% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved. Let your legislators know it’s time law enforcement stopped wasting time punishing adults for choosing a safer alternative to alcohol.
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