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Cultivating More Medical Marijuana

medical_mariuana_pot.
Dank Depot
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In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown talk about the possible expansion of medical marijuana in the state.

COVID Cases Creep

Things continue to be bad here in Ohio, thanks to the Delta variant and the quickly-spreading new Omicron variant. State health officials on Wednesday reported more than 10,000 new cases in the previous 24 hours. That’s the largest single-day total in over a year.

The state also reported nearly 500 new hospitalizations on Wednesday. That’s well above the recent daily average. Deaths also remain stubbornly high. About 67 Ohioans are dying of COVID every day. Despite the big increase in cases, Governor DeWine says he will not revert to the early pandemic tactic of health orders to fight COVID.

As he pushes the importance of vaccines, DeWine is also vowing to veto a vaccine mandate ban if necessary. The House has approved the plan to ban public and private schools and businesses from requiring vaccines for students and employees.

Weed Killer

A new bill would expand Ohio's medical marijuana program to award growing licenses to a handful of processors who were denied permits back when the program was getting started. It would increase the number of dispensary licenses in Ohio.

It would also increase the size of the facilities smaller growers can build from a maximum of 9,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet.

Most significantly, it allows physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to a patient for any medical condition. Right now it’s a very limited list of conditions that qualify.

Is expanding the state’s medical marijuana program a way to undercut the current campaign to completely legalize marijuana? Or is expanding the medical marijuana program a way to pave the way for a recreational marijuana plan?

Snollygoster(s) Of The Week

Kentucky lawmakers who voted against federal disaster relief for other states now seem to be all for it.

Senator Rand Paul had voted against relief funds after Superstorm Sandy caused major damage in New York and New Jersey in 2013, after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, and after various other disasters strained relief agencies in 2019.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted against both a 2011 bill to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a 2013 Sandy relief package.

Congressman Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie, and Thomas Massie have also all voted against one or more bills providing disaster assistance.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.