COLUMBUS (WCMH)–It is now legal in Ohio to treat patients with chronic illnesses with medical marijuana.
The new law went into effect Thursday.
However, patients may not be getting their marijuana prescriptions anytime soon.
The law requires that a medical marijuana panel be set up 30 days from when the law took effect.
The 14-person panel will establish rules for prescribing and distributing medical marijuana, and panel members have up to a year to do this.
According to the new law, a patient must have a qualifying condition to receive medical marijuana prescriptions.
Currently, the law lists approximately 20 qualifying chronic illnesses.
People will not be allowed to grow marijuana at their home.
In addition, the new law states that patients can’t smoke it–but are only allowed to use the marijuana in vapor form.
Patients can’t use the drug in public.
With the law now in effect, it does provide immediate legal protections to patients from laws prohibiting marijuana possession. That’s if they get a recommendation from their doctor.
But Dane Griffith, a patient who says marijuana helps control pain from his immune system disorder, says it’s all not as simple as it sounds.
“If could find a doctor who’s willing to write me that note then, yes, I have the protection,” he said. “But because there’s nearly zero information for doctor outreach to get doctors comfortable with talking to patients about this. I have been unable to find a doctor that’s willing to write that piece of paper.”