Editorial: Ohio becomes 26th state to legalize medical marijuana

Within two years, medical marijuana will be legal in Ohio. An effort that began in the Legislature shortly after the November general election moved swiftly, culminating last week when Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law.

Several local lawmakers played key roles in advancing the legislation, as the Rep’s Robert Wang reported. State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Township, chaired the Ohio House select committee that held nine hearings on the issue, and state Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, provided the key vote to move the bill out of the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Other local lawmakers eventually provided their backing, with the exception of state Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Marlboro Township, who voted no.

It’s rare to see a once-controversial issue move through the General Assembly at such a breakneck pace. It’s a testament not only to the thorough work of both Republicans and Democrats in Columbus, but also to the several advocacy groups that aggressively pushed (or planned to push) ballot initiatives for legalization in some form or another.

What’s clear is that lawmakers at last listened to proponents and polls, which show an overwhelming number of Ohioans back medical marijuana. The writing was on the wall. If Columbus wasn’t going to act, the citizenry would.

To read more: http://www.cantonrep.com/opinion/20160613/editorial-ohio-becomes-26th-state-to-legalize-medical-marijuana

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