Ohio Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana

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ohio-patient-networkOn May 2, 2013 Ohio State Representative Robert F. Hagan introduced two pieces of legislation that deal with the legalization of marijuana. The introduction comes on the heels of marijuana legalization recently being sanctioned by voters in Colorado and Washington, and with polls showing consistent and overwhelming support for medical marijuana across the country.

House Bill 153 would allow patients with certain chronic or debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, or sickle cell anemia, to cultivate or otherwise obtain and use marijuana for treatment of their ailments.  If passed, Ohio would join the District of Columbia and 19 other states in approving medicinal marijuana.

“In addition to the studies that show marijuana to be a valuable treatment option for chronic pain, nausea, and seizure disorders, I have heard countless stories of how cannabis has made a difference in the lives of people who are sick or dying,” Rep. Hagan said. “This is an issue that receives overwhelming support from Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents It’s time for Ohio to pass medicinal marijuana and stop punishing people who are sick and in pain.”

The other measure introduced last week, HJR6, would provide the opportunity for Ohioans to decide whether to fully legalize marijuana and tax it in the same manner as the state taxes alcohol.  Modeled on of the recently passed Amendment 64 in Colorado, HJR 6 would allow adults 21 year or older to legally purchase, cultivate, and use marijuana recreationally.  Marijuana could only be sold by licensed establishments registered with the state, and would be subject to a fifteen percent excise tax.

“With billions upon billions spent on the war on drugs with little progress to show for it, it is time for more sensible drug policy in this country. The new revenue the state receives from a marijuana tax could go a long way toward restoring cuts to public education and our local governments,” said Rep. Hagan. “Such a significant question should be answered through putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot. This issue deserves a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote by the people.”

Regardless of what you think about marijuana use, the simple fact of the matter is that the federal government – absent a constitutional amendment – does not have the authority to ban “controlled substances” like marijuana.  Congress was well aware of this fact back in 1919 when they proposed what would later become  the 18th Amendment to the states for ratification.  The 18th Amendment, which declared the production, transport and sale of alcohol illegal, gave the federal government the authority to ban alcohol; no such authority had been given to the federal government by the Constitution prior to passage of this amendment.

At the Tenth Amendment Center our motto is “The Constitution.  Every issue.  Every time.  No exceptions.  No excuses.”  As such we support Rep. Hagan in his efforts to overrule the federal ban on marijuana in Ohio via HB 153 and/or HJR 6.  If you share our consistent support of the US Constitution on all issues, contact your State Representative and encourage them to support these important pieces of legislation.

 To keep track of marijuana legislation in Ohio and around the country click here: 


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Scott Landreth is the Ohio Chapter Coordinator for the Tenth Amendment Center, a national think tank that serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution. Send him e-mail to scott.landreth@tenthamendmentcenter.com.

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4 responses to “Ohio Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana”

  1. Mr.deeds says:

    If you still think that marijuana is a dangerous drug by 2014,you are an officially declared one huge dumbass! Like it’s been scientifically proven to stop cancer cell production. It also helps with thousands of sickness/diseases.medical marijuana should be legal in ohio an stop oppressing the truest sick an suffering that could benefit from this medicine. It would bring such a great tax revenue that would be amazing. Look at California they are officially out of debt because of what? Medical marihuana! So sir I tell you one thing an that’s fuck off an see the very prosperous future ohio could have it they pass this bill and make it law.

  2. Jack says:

    Really Bernard? The only danger here is to a bag of Cheetoes.

  3. Isn’t this alarming to make marijuana legal? More people can easily obtain this dangerous drug. It may result to the increase of crime rate and law violations. If they will pursue the legalization, they might as well increase the number of rehabilitation centers to cater the increasing number of marijuana abusers (i think, i’m sure of it).