COLUMBUS—State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) is seeking input from his district about new legislation regarding medical marijuana.
Recently the Ohio House of Representatives Medical Marijuana Task Force discussed the findings of its hearings. This task force comprised of legislators, medical professionals, business leaders, public safety officials and legalization advocates has as its goal the examination of the issue of legalizing medical marijuana.
The legalization of medical marijuana has been a popular ballot issue in recent years with several states approving it. In many cases this means the issuance of a medical card from the state that allows the carrier to purchase the drug from specially licensed distributors to smoke.
The Task Force announced that legislation would be introduced that would do the following:
*Allow physicians to recommend and dispense marijuana for medical use, which may include smoking and ingesting the plant as well as pill form.
*Create the Medical Marijuana Control Commission, a nine-person panel appointed by the Governor, Senate President and House Speaker. This commission would be responsible for regulating marijuana policy in Ohio, including licensing entities involved in the process such as cultivators, retail dispensaries, independent labs and physicians.
The bill does not mandate that employers must accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana in the workplace, and it allows an employer to refuse to hire an employee because of medical marijuana use. Individuals discharged from their jobs because of medical marijuana use would be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits.
Also under the bill:
*Home-growing marijuana is prohibited
*The Commission will conduct background checks on all applicants
*The Commission will establish and maintain a record containing the number of patients and medical conditions for which medical marijuana is recommended
*The General Assembly and Administration will advocate Congress and the US Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II
*The General Assembly shall create an incentive program for institutions of higher learning and medical institutions to perform academic and medical research
*Minors must have consent from a parent or guardian to use medical marijuana
Vitale is seeking the input of his constituents on this issue and how they would like him to vote given the information above. Those wishing to give opinions can contact his office at 614-466-1507 or [email protected]
Submitted by the staff of state Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana).