26 May 2016
The proposal, which Kasich has not committed to signing, would bar patients from smoking marijuana or growing it at home, but it would allow its use in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions.
It garnered both support and opposition among Republicans and Democrats. Supporters recalled emotional testimony from chronic pain sufferers and parents of sick children as influencing their decisions to support the legislation.
Read the full report at http://nbc4i.com/2016/05/25/medical-marijuana-legalization-edges-closer-to-law-in-ohio/
The Columbus Dispatch reports…
After passing a reluctant Senate by just three votes, Ohio is poised to become the latest state to legalize medical marijuana, so long as Gov. John Kasich signs it into law.
After more than a day of uncertainty about whether the bill had enough support in the Senate, the chamber voted 18-15 Wednesday afternoon, passing the bill despite opposition votes from the top two members of Senate Republican leadership — Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, and Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Medina. The House concurred 67-28 late Wednesday night.
Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, a licensed pharmacist who led the Senate effort on the bill despite his own reservations, said it “reflects the will of Ohioans” and, unlike a ballot issue, it can be changed.
Bill 523 Current Version 26 May 2016
Clause Removed With Regard To Pharmacists
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Senators vetting a medical marijuana bill eliminated a requirement that every marijuana dispensary be run by a licensed pharmacist, expanded the definition of pain to qualify for medical marijuana and other changes cheered by medical marijuana advocates.
The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee added the pharmacist requirement last week as well as put the program under the oversight of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. The Ohio Pharmacists Association supported the change, but patient advocates said would increase patient costs and render Ohio’s medical marijuana program ineffective.
The committee is expected to make small changes to the bill Wednesday morning before approving it for a full floor vote as early as Wednesday afternoon. The revised bill then would need approval from the House before heading to Gov. John Kasich’s desk.
The pharmacist debate
Ernest Boyd, executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, said pharmacists who have six years of specialized education are best positioned to advise medical marijuana patients.
“Pharmacists know when drug therapy is appropriate and when it isn’t. ‘Bud-tenders’ do not,” Boyd told lawmakers Tuesday.