DeWine declines medical marijuana petition


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected the petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution, which would attempt to legalize marijuana for medical use in the state.

On March 3, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled “Medical Use of Marijuana” from the group of Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. One thousand valid signatures from registered Ohio voters were submitted. However, DeWine said he found at least three defects with the summary language.

DeWine said the summary language states “no more than fifteen type-1 medical marijuana cultivation facility licenses” shall be issued. However, the proposed amendment contains provisions for issuing additional licenses. He said the summary language states that the amendment may not be construed to prevent a person from being penalized for “operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or motorboat while impaired by marijuana.”

According to DeWine, the proposed amendment contains language which states qualifying patients “shall not be considered to be impaired by marijuana or marijuana products solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.” He said the summary language also states there shall be additional ways to obtain valid registry identification card under certain conditions after July 1, 2017. However, the proposed amendment lists that date as August 1, 2017.

“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” DeWine stated in a letter to the petitioners.

Just last week Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Aaron Adams said he believes more studies should be done and more data made available before legalizing medicinal marijuana.

“I think we need to do a lot more research on the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” Adams told the Daily Times.. “At this point I think the game is still out. The decisions are out. People are talking about different things and outcomes but there needs to be a clear evidence-based path to indicate how this stuff should be used and when it should be used and who is going to regulate it.”

By Frank Lewis

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Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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