Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ohio lawmakers consider legalizing medical marijuana

From NBC 4:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio lawmakers are considering a new bill to legalize medical marijuana.

Supporters of the Ohio Medical Compassion Act including members of Ohio NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and Central Ohio NORML gathered on the Statehouse lawn to talk to Central Ohioans about House Bill 478.

The bill was introduced back in April and is currently being reviewed by the Health Committee.

The President of Central Ohio NORML, Dawn Dunlap explained 14 other states including Washington DC have legalized medical cannabis

The supporters say medical marijuana can be used to help patients with chronic pain, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and digestive problems.

"I think because of the research that is being done - not to mention countless patient testimonies that it is almost inconceivable to ignore it anymore," said Dunlap.

She says medical marijuana has fewer side effects than other prescription medications and is less addictive.

Opponents of the bill say legalizing the drug is a public safety issue. They fear people will abuse the law. They view marijuana as a gateway drug to other addictive substances.

According to HB 478, patients prescribed medical marijuana would have to provide a completed application and a written certification from a qualifying doctor to receive a registry identification card from the board of health.