Medical Marijuana Update
Illinois’ medical marijuana program is set to be extended and expanded, the Ohio legislature passes a medical marijuana bill, the Ohio medical marijuana initiative is now dead, and more.
Last Friday, the House approved an extension and an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program. The House voted to approve a plan to expand the state’s medical marijuana program by adding PTSD and terminal illness to the program’s list of qualifying conditions and by extending the program for an additional 2 ½ years. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has now come around and says he supports the bill, which still needs a final Senate vote. The measure is Senate Bill 10.
Last Tuesday, the Senate voted to waive medical marijuana fees for veterans. The Senate approved a rider to the FY 2017 budget bill that would waive registration fees for Vets for qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program. Other patients would still have to pay the $50 registration fee and an annual $50 renewal fee to update.
Last Wednesday, the medical marijuana bill was approved by the legislature.Both houses of the legislature gave final approval to the measure, House Bill 523. The bill barely cleared the Senate on an 18-15 vote and won final approval from the House on a 67-28 vote. Gov. John Kasich (R) has said he will review the bill when it gets to his desk.
Last Saturday, the backers of a medical marijuana initiative called it quits. Faced with a medical marijuana bill approved by the legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana announced Saturday that they were ending their campaign to put an initiative on the November ballot. The Marijuana Policy Project-backed effort decided to call it quits because “the reality is that raising funds for medical marijuana policy changes is incredibly difficult, especially given the improvements made to the proposed program by the Ohio General Assembly and the fact that the Governor is expected to sign the bill.” The bill passed by the legislature will allow people with about 20 different diseases and conditions to use marijuana, but not to smoke it.
[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visitMedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]
By Phillip Smith
Paul Ebeling, Editor
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