More Ohio adults smoking weed than ever before, survey says

More Ohio adults are using marijuana than ever before, according to recently released state data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

The number of weed-smoking adults in Ohio increased 14.9 percent over the two-year period from 2015 through 2016, compared to the previous two years, according to an analysis of survey results by Harm Reduction Ohio, a drug policy reform group. 

About 1.24 million Ohio adults said they used marijuana in the past year in the latest NSDUH survey - roughly one in seven. That was the highest number since the survey from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began tracking illicit drug use nationwide in 1971.


Inadvertent error caused Ohio medical marijuana grower to be denied a license, state says

A state employee's "inadvertent error" caused one medical marijuana company to receive a lower score than it earned and prevented it from receiving one of 12 available grow licenses, the Ohio Department of Commerce said Thursday.

The scores from one section of the application review process were inadvertently recorded a second time for a different section, affecting 10 of the 110 large grower license applicants, agency spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski said.

PharmaCann Ohio LLC would have scored 8th and been awarded a provisional license had the correct scores been downloaded from the secure server where reviewers saved the scores. 


Ohio auditor finds flaw in medical marijuana business license scoring process

A "critical flaw" in Ohio's process for grading medical marijuana grow applications could have allowed a state employee to change scores or manipulate other documents, the state auditor's office found.

Two Ohio Department of Commerce employees had unlimited access to the online accounts of more than 20 application reviewers and associated documents, according to Auditor Dave Yost's office. The employees also created and managed passwords for the application reviewers, who were only granted access to certain parts of the application.


The opioid crisis is tearing Ohio apart, and medical marijuana could bring it back together

The opioid crisis is destroying Ohio.

Prescription painkillers such as Percocet and Vicodin have left many Ohioans addicted to powerful opioids. When people can no longer afford opioids or are denied refills, they often turn to heroin or Fentanyl sold illegally on the streets. 

It is estimated that 80 percent of heroin users started on an opioid. When people switch to these powerful drugs, overdoses are common. In 2016 alone, 4,050 Ohioans died from unintentional overdoses, the second most per capita in the nation behind only West Virginia. 2017 is expected to outpace those numbers. 


Ohio awards $1 million contract for medical marijuana help line

State regulators awarded a $1 million, three-year contract this week to a New Jersey-based company to operate a toll-free help line for patients, caregivers and doctors accessing Ohio's new medical marijuana program. 

Direct Success Inc.'s Ohio subsidiary Extra Step Assurance will operate the help line from a call center in Bellefontaine. The call center opened in February 2017 and has since been operating a national toll-free medical marijuana help line.

Direct Success CEO Cheryl McDaniel said the center offers fact-based information but does not give medical or legal advice. McDaniel said the company has pharmacists on call 24/7 to answer questions about drug interactions.


Let science drive marijuana policy - not superstition

Anyone who gets a prescription for medical marijuana is welcome to use it in West Chester Township. But the township does not welcome businesses associated with the producing marijuana.

Earlier this month, The Enquirer featured two letters to the editor that were very critical of the legalization of marijuana. One suggested marijuana use caused a fatal accident, and the other concerned marijuana being a gateway drug. I am no expert, but I thought I would share my research.


What's next for marijuana policy in Ohio?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw a wrench into legalized marijuana systems in Ohio and other states last week when he repealed an Obama-era policy of leaving law-abiding marijuana businesses alone in those states. 

Or did he? 

Ohio medical marijuana program officials said they plan to move forward with setting up the regulated industry of growers, processors, testing labs and dispensaries before September. And the U.S. attorney for Ohio's Southern District indicated his office won't change how it chooses to prosecute drug crimes and its focus on opioids. 


What does Jeff Sessions' new marijuana policy mean for Ohio?

Ohio's fledgling medical marijuana program won't immediately be affected by a new federal marijuana enforcement policy announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Ohio regulators are moving ahead with establishing the program, and state medical marijuana programs are still protected by a federal budget amendment preventing the Department of Justice from spending money on enforcement in those states.

But industry players and experts said the policy change will generate more confusion and uncertainty about whether it's legal to grow, sell and buy marijuana in Ohio and 28 other states while the drug remains illegal federally. And the move puts pressure on Congress to keep in place what's become a $16 billion industry, according to one industry researcher. 


You can now get a degree in marijuana, so it's time to deal with the lives ruined by weed convictions

As you almost certainly are aware, more states are further legalizing medical and recreational marijuana in recent years, with some cities even decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of weed, all of which means that the plant is starting to be treated with some respect — finally.

More research is being done about topics like what marijuana does to kids’ development and whether or not breastfeeding moms should be able to vape — and one university in Michigan is offering a full-on, four-year bachelor’s degree in all things having to do with the farming, marketing, and sale of weed. So now that you can get a degree in marijuana, what do we do about the fact that, legally, weed is still seriously ruining a lot of people’s lives?


Could recreational marijuana soon be legal in Ohio?

Ohio’s medical marijuana program will go into effect in about 10 months. But already there’s a push to make all marijuana legal across the board.

Ohioans have heard this once before: A constitutional amendment to give voters a chance to approve marijuana use, both medical and recreational.

But this time, the man behind it is promising to fix the issue that had even pot supporters fired up when the last amendment came up for a vote.

Jimmy Gould of Green Light Acquisitions, LLC, will propose making marijuana legal for all adults in Ohio. Details are expected to be revealed at a Monday morning news conference.


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