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Ohio lawmakers to form medical marijuana task force

Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 1:10 PM

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Ohio House Republicans will unveil details Thursday on a new task force to address medical marijuana.

State Rep. J. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, who has been tapped by legislative leaders to study the issue, declined to discuss details in advance of the 5 p.m. news conference at the Ohio Statehouse.

In November, Ohio voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational uses and assigned exclusive growing rights to 10 investor groups that had been financially backing the issue campaign. State Issue 3 failed by almost a 2:1 ratio.

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But public opinion polls last year show roughly 85 percent of Ohioans support medical marijuana, which prompted state lawmakers to agree to investigate crafting a limited medical pot plan.

Currently, 23 states have comprehensive legal medical marijuana programs and 17 states approved the use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations or as a legal defense, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Meanwhile, ResponsibleOhio, the campaign behind State Issue 3, has said it is considering taking another marijuana question to the voters in 2016 and LegalizeOhio2016 is collecting signatures in the field now to get on the November ballot. Those groups need to submit 306,000 valid voter signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in early July to qualify for the November ballot.

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