Political discussions regarding the medical use of cannabis are ramping up in Ohio. On January 30, just two days after the first meeting of the Ohio House’s Medical Marijuana Task Force (the MMTF) in Columbus, Ohio, State Senators David Burke (R – Marysville) and Kenny Yuko (D – Richmond Heights) hosted the first of three “town hall”events to gather public opinion regarding the issue of medical cannabis. The first town hall was held at Cleveland State University.
According to Senator Yuko, “this is our chance as legislators to listen to advocates and skeptics and come to an agreement that will benefit people living with difficult medical conditions. A Quinnipiac poll in October showed that 90% of Ohioans support medical marijuana. I am hopeful that these town hall meetings will give many faces to the support we have seen in the polls.”
The first town hall event lasted several hours, and included testimony from a variety of individuals, including a pharmacist, a physician, representatives of several agencies focused on addiction and drug treatment and members of the general public. Not surprisingly, the testimony varied greatly. Some argued passionately for access to cannabis as a medicine, while others decried any medicinal benefits.
Additional town hall events are scheduled to occur later this month in Toledo and Cincinnati, with dates and times to be determined. These town hall meetings are separate from the meetings being held by the MMTF in Columbus, as described here.
Benesch will continue to monitor developments regarding the legislative and cannabis-related ballot initiatives being considered by various groups in Ohio. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with interested parties the legal and business ramifications of these efforts.