The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


For State Representative Tim Brown, the most compelling testimony in favor of legalizing certain forms of medical marijuana came from people who had tried legally prescribed medicine and found no relief.

As a member of the House Select Committee on Medical Marijuana, the Bowling Green Republican heard hours of testimony. But what really stirred him was the testimony of those who felt they had exhausted all the prescription drugs available to them to address their medical needs.

The committee unanimously approved a substitute bill last week and sent it to the House floor where it also passed.

“For some the relief came in the form of a patch, or a pill or an oil,” Brown said Wednesday. “Some had no THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Some had a level of THC. That part was a concern to me. Did I want to approve a medicinal version of marijuana that would make somebody high? After listening to a lot of testimony I came to the conclusion there are a lot of prescription drugs that make people high or impaired. And to be a benefit to some people perhaps they need that version and we shouldn’t arbitrarily rule that out.

“That part of the testimony was revealing to me because I went into this thinking maybe we shouldn’t approve anything that has a THC level in it that makes someone high. I looked in parents’ eyes, and in some cases they’re with their child, who was in a wheelchair, and I’m told the child seizes 300 times a day and that some versions of medicinal marijuana reduce the number of seizures to a handful. That parent only wants the ability to make their child’s life better and to carry that child’s medicine without fear of arrest. It’s hard to not sympathize with both that child’s life and the mother’s life.”

Nine-member commission
The bill establishes the Medical Marijuana Control Commission in the Ohio Department of Commerce. The nine-member panel would include a physician, pharmacist, and representatives of law enforcement, employers, labor, alcohol and drug addiction treatment agencies, mental health agencies, and patients.

The commission would have the authority to license medical marijuana cultivators, processors, retail dispensaries and labs as well as register qualifying physicians.

The bill specifies by statute only oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches may be used and sets the allowable THC content for plant material at between 3 and 35 percent and extracts to have a THC content of not more than 70 percent.

The bill also prohibits the smoking of medical marijuana but allows for vaporization.

Patients are required to be registered with the commission but the bill authorizes a registered caregiver to possess marijuana on behalf of a registered patient and assist the patient in the use of the marijuana.

Patients or caregivers are prohibited from having more than a 90-day supply of medical marijuana as determined by the patient’s physician.

“This was the right thing to do on behalf of many Ohioans,” Brown said. “We’re rolling it out slowly with very tight guard rails. Almost everyone recognizes the California system is a joke. If we do get something wrong it will be easily amendable through the Ohio Revised Code.”

Rep. Michael Ashford, D-Toledo, and Rep. Steve Arndt, R – Port Clinton, also supported the bill.

Ashford said the bill, “Gives children and families who have chronic and severe illnesses an opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life.”

Rep. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, voted against the bill, saying it included “unfair economic penalties” for working people who seek treatment.

The bill was referred to the Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee.



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