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Is medical marijuana legal in Ohio?

If you have been paying attention to the media, you have probably heard many stories about American states legalizing marijuana in some form. In Ohio, the issue of legalizing marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes, remains complicated. This is especially troubling for seriously ill residents who might benefit from including some of the cannabinoids marijuana contains in their treatment plans.

Even more frustrating, it appears that the majority of Ohio citizens would actually support making medical marijuana legally available to patients. A 2013 Pew poll revealed that nearly 80 percent of "likely voters" in Ohio believe marijuana offers legitimate medical benefits to those who are seriously ill. However, the state legislature remains stalled on bringing attention to this issue.

Only one bill addressing marijuana was presented this year, and it failed to advance. Many believe the bill would have been inadequate in any case as it did not provide any workable solutions for the ill. Had it advanced, it would have given physicians the ability to prescribe cannabidiol. However, the bill did not contain provisions to allow patients to possess even miniscule amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, a substance naturally present in marijuana.

People who are sick and suffering often choose to use marijuana as a treatment, even though it could mean drug charges if caught. With so much of the nation focusing on the legalities of marijuana, Ohio residents can continue to hope for a change, but that will not make activities involving the substance any less illegal.

If you are asking whether marijuana is legal because you or someone you know is under investigation, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney. This is even more important if a serious illness is a factor. With preparation and a solid defense, you stand a good chance of ending your legal ordeal on a positive note.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project, "Legislature continues to stall on improvements to state marijuana laws," May 28, 2015

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