COLUMBUS – MAY 12, 2016: After weeks of testimony from patients to Ohio Senator's Kenny Yuko and David Burke, the House Task Force and the Select Committee on Medical Marijuana, it is inconceivable that the Ohio Senators are considering House Bill 523 without some fundamental improvements. UnitedOhio believes the legislation, as is currently written, will not adequately meet the needs of Ohio’s patients. It will leave Ohioans out of a medical marijuana program that could have benefited due to House Bill 523’s overregulation.
The Ohio legislature has failed to learn from medical marijuana programs like New York by placing unrealistic and bureaucratic burdens on physicians and patients. Treating a natural plant as if it were a laboratory developed dangerous compound, House Bill 523's restrictions will keep many physicians from recommending it to their patients, and could easily lock thousands of Ohioans out from the cannabis plant's therapeutic benefits.
UnitedOhio implores the Ohio legislature to ease the overly restrictive regulations in House Bill 523. Without meaningful changes to ease the burden on access for Ohio’s patients, and while we recognize the significance of the Statehouse's efforts, UnitedOhio believes the citizen-led ballot initiative is the best path forward for a medical marijuana program in Ohio.
UnitedOhio unites the Ohio cannabis community, patients and industry leaders to be a collective force in changing and influencing Ohio's laws to provide legal and safe access to patients. Our coalition, founded in January 2016, has years of experience working with patients and medical professionals, studying what works and what does not, in the 24 other states in our union that have legalized cannabis in some form. Our Vision is to lead Ohio as the preeminent patient advocacy organization for therapeutic cannabis use and research. Our Mission is to (1) Advocate for comprehensive and regulated access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research as a unified coalition; (2) Influence groups and individuals working on cannabis reform on behalf of the patients of Ohio; and (3) Promote patient-prioritized best practices on regulations, strategies and policies for Ohio’s cannabis industry.