COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio passed in the Ohio Senate Wednesday evening just after 6:30 p.m. Lawmakers voted in favor of the bill with a vote of 18-15. The bill now heads to the house to amend any Senate amendments. Once amended, the bill will then head to the Governor’s desk for signature.
The bill would allow patients who have one of about two dozen qualifying conditions to buy and use marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. The latest polls shows 90 percent of registered Ohio voters support medical marijuana.
Unlike a possible ballot measure planned for November, this bill wouldn’t allow patients to smoke or grow the drug–and would have stricter restrictions on who it could be prescribed too.
State Rep. Niraj Antani says having these restrictions sets the bill apart from other similar legalization efforts.
“I don’t believe that any marijuana should be legalized, but with these ballot initiatives and what we saw with responsible Ohio last year, if we don’t do something then these donor funded organizations will,” Antani said.