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Government & Politics

Northeast Ohio Lawmaker Plans to Introduce a Medical Marijuana Bill Within Weeks

photo of State Senator Kenny Yuko (D) left, and State Senator David Burke (R)right

A Northeast Ohio Democrat plans to make the first move to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio. 

State Sen. Kenny Yuko told Cleveland.com he’ll introduce the bill soon to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for people with some chronic and serious medical conditions, including PTSD and seizures.

It would be modeled after measures in 23 other states.

Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of Boardman acknowledges that bills sponsored by Democrats in this GOP-dominated Legislature often stall. But he says overwhelming public opinion is on the side of this one.

“It seems like most legislators on both sides of the aisle believe that this is something that we should at least talk about through a legislative process because they know that realistically, it’s probably going to go back on the ballot and it’s going to be more broad than they’re comfortable with.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has repeatedly rejected the wording of medical marijuana voter initiatives for November’s ballot that would circumvent lawmakers. But polls show Ohioans – Republicans, Democrats and independents – support some kind of legalization for medicinal purposes.