Lawmakers in Ohio on Wednesday approved legislation that would legalize marijuana use for medical purposes under certain circumstances, less than a year after recreational marijuana use was soundly defeated by Ohio voters.
The bill, approved by both chambers of the state’s Republican-led legislature, heads to Republican Governor John Kasich for his signature as his office said on Wednesday that he will review the bill.
During the last few years, state legislatures and voters in the United States have been much more receptive to making the use of marijuana legal for medical purposes than for recreational use.
Some 24 states and Washington D.C. currently allow some type of medical marijuana use while only a handful of states allow for recreational use. It remains illegal on the federal level.
The Ohio legislation is more limiting than some in that it only allows patients with specific medical conditions to use an oil, edible, tincture or vapor form of marijuana prescribed by a physician licensed in the state, starting in 2017.
“This bill is not perfect, but it’s what Ohio patients need,” Ohio Senator Kenny Yuko, a Democrat, said before his house approved the bill.
“Marijuana is not a gateway drug, but a gateway off drugs.”
Medical marijuana users would not be allowed to smoke or grow their own marijuana under the measure, which also would create a commission responsible for regulating and licensing of all operations of the drug.
In November, Ohio voters soundly rejected a measure that would have made it the first U.S. Midwestern state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
Lawmakers from both parties voted for and against the bill on Wednesday. Some opponents of the measure have said that the qualifying list of medical conditions is too limited.
The measure was fast-tracked to head off a possible less-restrictive medical marijuana ballot initiative in November.
In a poll released in early May, 90 percent of Ohio voters supported the legalization for medical marijuana.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by Michael Perry)
World hunger on the rise with more than 820 million at risk, UN report says
More than 821 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday -- the third year in a row that the number has risen.
After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015 and reversing the trend is one of the 2030 targets of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
But getting to a world where no one is suffering from hunger by then remains an "immense challenge," the report said.
"The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World" was produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies including the World Health Organization.
‘It’s just sparkling racism’: Internet mocks the hell out of the New York Times for describing Trump’s comments as ‘racially infused’
In an analysis piece in the New York Times on Sunday, chief White House correspondent opted to describe President Donald Trump’s overtly racist comments on Democratic congresswomen color as “racially infused” — an euphemism one Twitter user joked is “the worst flavor of LaCroix.”
Trump over the weekend caused an uproar in the media by tweeting the following:
Fox News’ John Roberts tells Trump to his face: ‘White nationalists are finding common cause with you’
Fox News reporter John Roberts asked President Donald Trump to his face whether he cared that white nationalists agreed with his views on race.
The president provoked widespread outrage by calling on four Democratic congresswomen -- all women of color -- to leave the country because they disagreed with his policies, and Trump insisted his tweets were not racist while continuing to lob bigoted attacks at them.
"Mr. President," Roberts asked during an impromptu Monday news conference, "does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist, and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?"