Ohio took historic steps last month in approving a medical marijuana program. With the passing of House Bill 523, Ohioans gained the right to use certain types of marijuana for medical purposes. Ohio joins the District of Columbia and 24 other states in lawfully permitting the medical use of marijuana.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we’ve represented numerous clients who have been charged with marijuana-related crimes. Our experienced Ohio criminal defense attorneys know the effects that a marijuana conviction can have on a person’s life. If you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related crime, contact us at (614) 500-3836 to find out how we can help you.
Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana in Ohio?
New Ohio law allows some Ohioans to use certain forms of medical marijuana without fear of incarceration. In order to qualify for medical marijuana use, a patient must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, consult with a physician who believes that the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh its risks, and receive that physician’s certification in writing.
Qualifying medical conditions include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chron’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe or chronic nausea
Other conditions may also be designated by law.
Types of Permissible Medical Marijuana
Ohio’s new law does not allow for the possession or use of all types of marijuana. The legislature was very specific regarding the kinds of substance that may be used and what form it may take.
Oils, some edibles, tinctures, vapors, patches, and some plant materials are permitted for use as medical marijuana. The growing or smoking of marijuana, however, is strictly prohibited.
When Will This Law Take Effect?
The new medical marijuana law in Ohio takes effect on September 8, 2016. However, it may take up to two years before the state’s medical marijuana program is fully operational. Between now and then, the State’s Board of Pharmacy, the State Medical Board, and the Ohio Department of Commerce will be establishing rules as to what marijuana products can be sold in Ohio and where. Currently, state law dictates that dispensaries be located at least 500ft away from churches, schools, public libraries, and parks.
Until Ohio dispensaries are established, Ohioans will be hard pressed to find a legal way of getting medical marijuana. Current state and federal law makes it difficult—if not illegal—for Ohioans to travel out of state to procure medical marijuana.
Opposition to HB 523
The passing of House Bill 523 is a historic moment in Ohio’s drug-related legislative history and proponents of the bill see it as paving the way for future marijuana-related legislation. At the same time, opponents to the recently passed bill question the value of medical marijuana. They call for additional studies to prove that medical marijuana is actually effective.
How the Experienced Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help You
While Ohio’s new medical marijuana law won’t take effect for some time, the passing of House Bill 523 is a step in the right direction. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we’ve seen too many people charged with drug-related crimes for possession of small amounts of marijuana and we’re all too familiar with marijuana charges brought against individuals with sometimes debilitating medical conditions.
To learn more about Ohio’s medical marijuana laws or to receive a free, initial consultation in regards to your drug-related charges, call us at (614) 500-3836 today.