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Forum in Lowellville discusses proposed legalization of medical marijuana

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LOWELLVILLE, Ohio - The legalization of marijuana has become a highly debated topic.

Nearly two dozen states have already legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. The debate is now making it's way to Ohio, and could soon go before voters.

At a discussion forum in Lowellville, local alcohol and drug addiction services encouraged voters to read carefully the amendment proposed by the Ohio Rights Group to legalize medical marijuana.

They argue the two page amendment leaves many unanswered questions.

"It doesn't require a doctor or physicians prescriptions, it only requires a diagnoses and then it says a person can use up to the amount they need for relief of their ailment, so it leaves up to the person how much, when, how often, they're going to smoke or eat a consumable that contains cannabis," said Brenda Hedinger with the Mahoning County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board.

According to the proposed amendment, anyone 18 and older diagnosed with one of about 30 listed medical conditions has the right to use and produce marijuana. Children are also eligible with parent consent.

Those residents have a right to privacy and can not be discriminated against.

It also notes impairment, and says a user can not be considered under the influences solely because of the presence of metabolites- which is what your body breaks the original drug down into.

"So long as they're not impaired and they don't show evidence of impairment. I don't see what the issue is," said Ohio Rights Group Vice President Mary Jane Borden."The standard is are you fit and unimpaired and able to do your work, and if you are and you're doing it very well why is this particular arbitrary number an issue? It isn't an issue."

According to the proposed amendment, it'll be up to a commission to regulate aspects of the drug like the growth, distribution, and sales.

The Cannabis Commission would be made up of nine people, selected by the Ohio Rights Group and the Governor. The commission would consist of farmers, a licensed medical practitioner, a mental health professional, and a member of law enforcement, among others.

In order to place the proposed amendment on the ballot, The Ohio Rights Group must collect 385,000 signatures.

 

For more information on the Ohio Rights Group and to view the proposed amendment, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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