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New Rules for Medical Marijuana Will Take Time According to Bill's Sponsor

photo of a pot dispensary sign

A panel of Ohio House members working on a medical marijuana bill has started hearings. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports on the first day of the panel’s work.

Republican Rep. Steve Huffman is the sponsor of the bill. He’s also a doctor. And he says the plan being put together by lawmakers will be better than those proposed by groups wanting to legalize medical marijuana at the ballot box.

But Huffman acknowledges the legislation will take 18 months to two years to put into action.

“I wish we could condense things, but I don’t want to put the pressure on the control commission to do something --then go back and change it. We want to get the rules right.”

However, Aaron Marshall, a spokesman for one of the groups trying to put a medical marijuana on the ballot this fall says if lawmakers want to get it right, they should support his group’s plan.

Rep. Steve Huffman, a Tipp City Republican, is sponsor of a medical marijuana bill that he says is better than the two state ballot measures.

“The ballot issue we are proposing is the one that’s put together by people who are experts in this field. Our ballot issue is designed by people who have 20 years of medical marijuana experience.”

Marshall’s group and anotherthat also wants to put a ballot issue before voters will need to collect more than 305,000 valid signatures by July 6th to get on the fall ballot.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.