The calls for marijuana legalization for medical use have been growing louder and louder with each passing day. It has been proven that marijuana has numerous medicinal benefits, for both the mind and the body. Moreover, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent of CNN, changed his opinions on marijuana and gave the use of it in medical capacities his stamp of approval. Thus, it was only natural that states would seriously consider legalizing medical marijuana. Now, it is time for medical marijuana fans based in Ohio to rejoice. Following the likes of Illinois (2014), Maryland (2014), Minnesota (2014) and Pennsylvania (2016), Ohio recently became the next state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, approving its use in June 2016.
Patients with qualifying medical conditions can now be prescribed medical marijuana by practitioners, starting from September 2016. Following the announcement, several agencies have already started operations in order to produce and distribute medical marijuana. All this was made possible by a group called ‘Ohioans for Medical Marijuana’, who proposed a ballot initiative, which ultimately led to medical marijuana being legalized in Ohio.
To prevent taking advantage of the legalization of medical marijuana and abusing it, patients must have some qualifying medical conditions in order to be prescribed medical marijuana by physicians. Ohio law recognizes the following medical conditions as qualifying conditions for using medical marijuana:
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
• Crohn’s disease
• Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
• Hepatitis C
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Chronic/Severe/Intractable Pain
• Parkinson’s disease
• Positive status for HIV
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Sickle Cell Anemia
• Spinal Cord disease or injury
• Tourette’s syndrome
• Traumatic brain injury
• Ulcerative colitis
The list doesn’t end there; the law is keeping the door open for other medical conditions to be added to the list of qualifying medical conditions. Individuals can petition the Medical Board in order to have additional conditions and/or diseases included in the list of qualifying medical conditions. Even more reason for Ohioan medical marijuana enthusiasts to rejoice.
However, measures have been taken to prevent anyone and everyone from getting access to medical marijuana. In order for an individual to get medical marijuana, the following stipulations must be checked:
• The patient must have one or more conditions enlisted under Ohio’s medical marijuana law
• The patient must have an ongoing patient-physician relationship with the doctor
• The patient must be notified of the pros and cons of using medical marijuana, and the doctor must make it clear that the benefits outweigh the risks
• The doctor must obtain a report from the drug database of Ohio, showing the other medication prescribed to the patient over that past year.
In short, patients now have renewed hope in their fight to recover from their conditions. There is every chance that the prescribed medication has little or no effect to soothe the discomfort of the patients, thus prompting cries for some new ways to relieve the inconvenience. Hopefully the introduction of medical marijuana will have a big and lasting impact, influencing even more states to follow suit and legalize medical marijuana.