© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Ohio's New Medical Marijuana Law Goes Into Effect, Rules Unclear

Jo Ingles interviews Aaron Marshall, Communications Director for Ohioans For Medical Marijuana.
Dan Konik
/
Jo Ingles interviews Aaron Marshall, Communications Director for Ohioans For Medical Marijuana.

The state’s new medical marijuana law goes into effect Thursday. That means Ohio is now able to start putting the process in place to allow Ohioans to get medical marijuana. But that doesn’t mean Ohioans who have illnesses to qualify for the drug can get or use it anytime soon.

One thing that could happen right away is doctors could write letters for patients who qualify so if they get caught with small amounts of marijuana before the law is fully implemented, they wouldn’t be prosecuted.

But Aaron Marshall, a spokesman for a group that threatened to put the issue on the ballot before lawmakers acted, says it already looks like that might be a problem.

“Doctors are a little leery of recommending medical marijuana because it’s a new thing in this state and we really think the state medical board and the board of pharmacy need to provide some clear guidance to doctors and patients.”

But that guidance may not come for months or even a year. Marshall says experience with other states shows if doctors in Ohio don’t get on board immediately, doctors from other states will likely set up practice here. Marshall says if the state-run program runs into problems, his group could still work to put its own plan on the statewide ballot in the future.