Recreational Marijuana

Ohio has become the latest state in the country to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Interestingly, though, even as the marijuana law kicked in on September 8, the state still faces a lot of questions about how the new reality is going to work. Those wondering include doctors, pharmacists, police officers, and patients, as there are unanswered questions on every level.

The Next Two Years

Many of these questions should be answered in the next year, providing more clarity. That is the goal at this point, officials say, as the state works to set up rules for producing marijuana legally, prescribing it to those who need it, and then effectively distributing it. The program should be completely functional by 2018, according to authorities, giving them another year to iron out any other details.

Getting Marijuana

For example, the law makes it clear that a person with Alzheimer's or cancer could use medical marijuana, but it doesn't dictate where that marijuana will be purchased. The state appears to have dispensaries, cultivators, and processors, but they haven't been given official orders from the government yet, even as the law's start date arrives. One expert warned that marijuana may be legal, but it may still be some time before people can buy it.

Another issue is at the medical level, where Ohio's Medical Board hasn't yet told doctors what types of guidlines they'll be using. An official with the Ohio State Medical Association actually said that they're telling doctors to hold off on writing prescriptions while the questions are sorted out.

Getting Answers

It's incredibly important to know what legal steps are required to get a prescription and the marijuana itself, both for patients and doctors. This is true with any substance that would be illegal under other circumstances. Violating the rules could lead to an accidental illegal use or possession of marijuana, which can lead to criminal charges even for those who believe they are legally allowed to use it. Residents must keep watching the developments to see what happens as the questions discussed above are answered.