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Hearings on medical marijuana

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    Posted: Jan 19 2016 at 5:21pm

Updated: 4:58 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 | Posted: 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

Ohio to start statewide hearings on medical marijuana

By Laura A. Bischoff

Columbus bureau

COLUMUS 

Just two months after voters soundly rejected a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana, two state senators will kick off a statewide “listening tour” later this month to find out what Ohioans think of medical marijuana.

State Sens. Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, and Dave Burke, R-Marysville, plan to hold day-long meetings in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo and use what they hear to weigh whether to draft medical marijuana legislation later this year.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF LAST YEAR’S MARIJUANA VOTE IN OHIO

Both men oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Yuko has long advocated for legalizing medical marijuana while Burke, a pharmacist, said he remains skeptical about allowing states to circumvent the federal drug approval process.

Yuko and Burke’s efforts will coincide with an Ohio House-appointed task force on medical marijuana that is expected to make its report by March 31.

Both said they would listen to all sides of the issue.

“We’re going to listen to the nurses. We’re going to listen to the doctors. We’re going to listen to the different organizations, we’re going to listen to the patients,” Yuko said. “We’re not going to call upon what other elected leaders to tell us what should or shouldn’t be in there. We’re going to listen to people who are most affected by it, who live by it every single day.”

In November, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. Its 65-35 percent failure is largely attributed to the proposed structure that would have granted exclusive marijuana cultivation rights to the 10 investor groups that were bankrolling the campaign.


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