Lawmakers announce plan to study medical pot

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 14, 2016

On Thursday, Ohio House leaders announced a plan for a bipartisan task force to study medicinal marijuana. 

More than 2 million voters defeated Ohio’s legal pot proposal known as issue 3 back on November 3

But when it comes to support for medical marijuana, opinion polls gauged Ohioans’ support anywhere from 70 to nearly 90 percent of respondents.  

In an effort to better gauge constituent feelings on the subject, Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and State Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) announced the formation of a task force Thursday. 

The process will likely include the input of doctors and experts from other states that have already legalized marijuana. 

Political analyst Tom Sutton, an economics professor at Baldwin Wallace University, said the task force could open itself up to a mountain of potential issues. 

Sutton said that if lawmakers decide to pursue medical cannabis legislation, drafting that bill would raise many questions about how patients obtain prescriptions and where the marijuana is grown. 

“Can it be produced in Ohio or does it get imported from another state that already has a production facility? I think those are the things the task force will be looking at,” Sutton told 

Sutton said it’s possible that prescriptions could be mail-order. 

As a result of the passage of anti-monopoly Issue 2, the growing will not be limited to a certain group of growers, he explained. 

Regulation will also be a big question for lawmakers. 

"They'll likely look into a commission that might oversee who’s eligible to grow ,what kinds of regulations, what kinds of oversight are necessary for allowing that to happen," Sutton said. 

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have legal medicinal marijuana options for patients.