john kasich

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Ohio: Governor Kasich Signs Medical Marijuana Law

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Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed House Bill 523 into law, making Ohio the 25th medical marijuana state.

Kasisch's communications team announced the signing without any comment, simply including in a list of other bills the governor also signed on Wednesday, reports Jackie Borchardt of Cleveland.com.

"This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine," said Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall. "As we continue this movement to bring medical marijuana to all Buckeyes who need it, we will remember today as a huge step forward."

The new law goes into effect 90 days after the bill is officially filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, making medical marijuana legal sometime in early September. Patients will then have an "affirmative defense" against prosecution for marijuana possession charges if they have written authorization from their doctor to use marijuana in a form allowed under the law.

It could be a year or more until Ohioans can actually walk into a storefront dispensary and buy medical marijuana. The program must be operational within two years, according to the law, but lawmakers said it will probably be up and running sooner than that.

Ohio: New Law Could Lead To Marijuana Plants Growing In The State Within A Year

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Sen. Dave Burke, an originator of Ohio's new medical marijuana law, predicts that marijuana plants could be growing legally in Ohio in a year.

“As soon as 16 months, you would have products tested and available,” the Marysville Republican said.

House Bill 523, the medical marijuana law, completed a difficult journey through the legislature Wednesday. It is now headed to Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich has not indicated whether he will sign the bill into law. He could veto it or allow it to take effect without his signature.

“We expect to receive a number of bills over the next couple of weeks, and we’re going to carefully review each one of them,” Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said. The governor, a Republican, has expressed general support for medical marijuana but has not addressed the specific bill.

If Kasich signs the bill, it will establish an extensive, regulated system for growing, processing, testing and dispensing marijuana for people with any of 20 specified medical diseases and conditions. Patients could receive a 90-day supply of marijuana edibles, patches, oils and plant material. Vaporizing marijuana would be permitted, but smoking it would not.

Burke said the legislation does not establish specific numbers for marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries.

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Plan Passes Ohio Senate With Slim Margin

Ohio's medical marijuana bill now goes to Gov. John Kasich's desk for his decision on whether to approve it or not.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Ohio Senate approved legalization of medical marijuana by a slim margin Wednesday evening, setting up the bill to probably be passed in the Ohio House later that night.

Senators approved the medical marijuana plan by a margin of just three votes. Smoking and growing marijuana at home are not part of the plan.

House lawmakers approved the Senate's revised version of the bill late Wednesday, sending it to Gov. John Kasich's desk.

Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana if Kasich signs the bill. He hasn't yet said if he'll support the bill but has indicated that he is interested in passing some sort of bill for medical marijuana, especially targeting children suffering from epilepsy.

The bill would allow adults to buy and use oil, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches with a doctor's recommendation. Parents could purchase these products for their children younger than 18 with a doctor's referral.

The Ohio Department of Commerce would oversee those who grow, process and test medical marijuana. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy would register patients and caregivers and license dispensaries. The Ohio State Medical Board would handle certificates for doctors who want to recommend marijuana.

Ohio: Senate Panel Votes For Medical Marijuana Bill; May Fall Short In Full Senate

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Ohio Senate committee voted 7-5 on Wednesday morning for House Bill 523, legislation that would legalize medical marijuana for certain conditions, but the bill may not have enough support to pass in the full Senate.

About a dozen of 23 Senate Republicans and two or three or 10 Democrats said they are willing to vote for the bill, with 17 votes needed for passage, report Alan Johnson and Jim Siegel at The Columbus Dispatch.

In Wednesday's Government Oversight Committee hearing, four Republicans joined Democratic Sen. Michael Skindell in opposing the medical marijuana bill.

If the Senate does pass HB 523, the House must then go along with amendments made to the legislation; it had passed a pre-amended version. Assuming both chambers come to an agreement -- with lawmakers not due back for session until after the November election -- the bill would then go to GOP Gov. John Kasich, who said on Tuesday that he "favors the concept" of medical marijuana. As for this specific bill, "I have to look at it," the Governor said.

Ohio: Lawmakers To Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Lawmakers in Ohio announced Wednesday that they will introduce a medical marijuana bill this week.

Legislators said at a news conference Wednesday that they plan to fast-track the bill to Gov. John Kasich, ahead of a proposed ballot measure in November. If the bill is passed by summer, Ohioans could buy and use medical marijuana by early 2018.

Ohio-licensed physicians would be the only medical professionals allowed to recommend marijuana to patients. Patients would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana.

The bill would allow marijuana edibles, patches, plant material, and oils.

The bill has no list of qualifying medical conditions, but doctors would have to report every 90 days what conditions they have recommended marijuana for, what forms of marijuana they recommended, and why it was preferable to another medicine.

The bill urges the U.S. Attorney General and Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance instead of Schedule I, which supporters say will encourage more research.

Michigan: John Kasich Annoyed By Question On Whether He's Smoked Pot

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich became frustrated Tuesday while being interviewed by a Detroit radio reporter about his views on marijuana.

The Ohio governor is hoping to win Michigan's Tuesday Republican primary. He told WWJ radio host Roberta Jasina he is against legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

When Jasina asked him if he'd ever used marijuana himself, Kasich would not answer and instead directed the question back to her.

"I'm not running for president," Jasina replied. "Did you ever smoke it?"

Kasich finally conceded that he used pot in his youth, but added "What is the relevance of what I might have done 30 years ago? I mean this is not what matters when we pick a president," Kasich said. "What really matters is 'Is this somebody that can create jobs? Is this somebody that knows how to command the military, conduct foreign policy.' I think to some degree the course of running for president is a series of 'gotcha questions."

"But there's going to be a limit on the amount of 'gotcha' questions I'm going to answer as we go forward in this campaign," he added.

He said he doesn't believe Michigan voters would approve of legalized medical marijuana.

Voters in his state of Ohio last year rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana for all adults the age of 21 and over.

U.S.: Presidential Candidate Rubio Wants To Enforce Federal Law In Marijuana States

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Prospective candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination continued their baffling verbal assault on cannabis this week, as Florida Senator Marco Rubio joined Chris Christie in pledging a federal crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana.

Asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he would "enforce the federal drug laws and shut down the marijuana trade," Rubio answered: "I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well…

"I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal," said Rubio, revealing his distressingly murky thought process around the subject.

"In addition to enforcing the rest of the Controlled Substances Act, U.S. Attorneys are still pursuing marijuana cases in Colorado and Washington, just not in a way that shuts down the state-legal industry," said Jacob Sullum at Reason. "Rubio apparently opposes that policy of prosecutorial forbearance."

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