On February 18th Ohio Patient Network provided written and verbal testimony to the Ohio State Representative Medical Marijuana task force in Columbus.
Ohio Patient Network (OPN) is a 501C-3 non profit organization. OPN is Ohio’s oldest coalition of patients, caregivers, activists and medical professionals who support the compassionate use of cannabis for various medicinal purposes. We share information between patients, medical professionals, attorneys, and educate the public with the latest developments in the therapeutic use of cannabis.
OPN has been involved with state legislators and the various legislative bills that have been introduced over the years, such as Senate Bill 343, House Bill 478, House Bill 214 and others. Bill after bill were introduced, yet never brought up for a hearing, except once. Frankly, working the legislative route has not been productive. We are pleased to finally see an interest in regards to medical marijuana at the state house. With no reservation I say thank you to the men and women behind issue 3. That effort, even though it did not pass, has propelled our issue forward.
Within the material I provided you is a CD with a number of PDF files. They contain numerous reports and articles on a wide variety of topics. Most are richly documented; cannabis has a very long therapeutic history. Of particular interest to me are the United States Government reports, none of which substantiate marijuana classification.
I have found an interesting connection between seniors and veterans with PTSD. Both have trouble sleeping at night, for which cannabis is effective for both groups. Even more interesting are the deep-pain patients, who take an amazing amount of opioid drugs--so much that they would literally kill me. The theme I heard over and over again is the more marijuana they have, the less opioids they need to deal with their pain and the more functional they are with their families. This is reflected in the JAMA study I have provided, which reported a very significant drop in overdose deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Today polling is between 85 to 90 percent, and with 23 states passing medical marijuana laws to date, medical marijuana prohibition is clearly not supported by the public. There is solid reason why. At a fundamental level, we have a policy that is based on a false premise. Marijuana is not a schedule one drug.
This panel should recommend that our legislators pass a meaningful medical marijuana law quickly. If they don’t, it will be done for them at the ballot in November. I am available to answer any questions you may have, whether personal, factual or policy recommendations.
The testimony was given by Robert Ryan, President Ohio Patient Network, who also provided hie own personal testimony. The actual written materials can be viewed at the following link http://www.ohiopatientsnetwork.org/images/testimony/Rob_Ryan_Testimony_to_Representative_Task_Force_hearing_2-18-16.pdf. An audio recording that captures the task Force Panel questions and the responses can be heard on a MP3 file at http://www.ohiopatientsnetwork.org/images/audio/Ohio_State_Task_Force_MMJ_hearing_Rob_Ryan_2016-02-18.mp3.