Information on Ohio’s new law for medical marijuana

Campus News, News, Student Life

Over the past year, the Ohio House of Representatives has passed House Bill 523, which legalizes medical marijuana for Ohioans. Since then, Ohio has started a two-year process of implementing the bill.

This is everything Capital needs to know:

It is a two-year process

According to Cleveland.com, Ohio passed the bill legalizing medical marijuana over a year ago. It was not until this past September that the bill went into effect. Moreover, figuring out who would grow and sell it postponed dispensaries from opening until Sept. 8, 2018.

Although marijuana is now medically legal, Capital’s rules and regulations remain status quo.

According to Public Safety Chief Francisco Fernandez, Capital’s policy, which is in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, prohibits manufacture, possession, sales and use of illegal drugs, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.

“Under federal law, growing and using marijuana remains a crime, and federal legislation prohibits any institution of higher education that receives federal funding from allowing the possession or use of marijuana,” Fernandez said. “Currently, there are no dispensaries in Ohio, and the certification process allowing doctors to recommend marijuana has not yet been created.”

NCAA rules

“Medical marijuana has been a topic of discussion within Capital Athletics, just as it has been at all NCAA Division I, II and III institutions across the country,” Capital’s sports information director Ryan Gasser said.

Thereby, Capital University must abide by NCAA decisions on the matter.

As of now, legal states such as Washington or Colorado prohibit the use of medical marijuana for NCAA athletes.

Provided by athletic director Roger Ingles, an article published on potguide.com states, “Marijuana is weird. Or more accurately, organizations that create policies about marijuana are weird.”

NCAA is considered an organization that governs sports, leaving them to decide the rules and regulations. This can be hard, especially during a progressive era, such as the one we are living in.

But that has not stopped NCAA from changing regulations.

Particularly, in April of 2014, NCAA ruled that marijuana was not a performance-enhancing drug, reported on bleacherreport.com. This means punishment would no longer be as substantial as it would be for using steroids, for example.

The suspension result would no longer be a whole season, but just half a season.

Ohio’s 523 Bill

The new Ohio law does not prevent current employers from taking action if an employee violates the company drug policy, according to Cleveland Clinic. Regarding the legalization of marijuana, Ohio’s bill still prohibits the act of smoking marijuana.

Some legal ways to consume the drug are to inhale strictly through a vaporizer, or to use oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles or patches.

According to Cleveland Clinic, medical marijuana can only be prescribed to a patient with one of the following conditions: HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), pain: either chronic, severe, or intractable (difficult to manage), Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.

What Ohio is still working on

According to Cleveland Clinic, “The certification process is not yet in place, and no continuing education courses – required to become certified – have been approved.”

Furthermore, Ohio dispensaries will not be open until Sept. 8, 2018. This leaves many questioning where current patients are supposed to get medication in the meantime.

Kirsten Cameron

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