Toledoans weigh in on legalization of medical marijuana

Published: Jun. 8, 2016 at 9:44 PM EDT
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Wednesday was a big day for the state of Ohio, as Governor John Kasich signed the use of medical marijuana into law.

The bill quickly went through the legislative process to the governor's desk. The Senate approved it back on May 25th, the House not far behind.

The law is still young, and some people already have some strong opinions about it.

Kevin Spitler owns the Toledo Hemp Center. He says, "I'm happy that things are going to move forward, and this is going to help a lot of people."

The bill is young, so it's not clear how marijuana will be processed or distributed. For now, Spitler isn’t sure how, or if, his store will fit into the marijuana industry. But he thinks the bill can only do good things for Ohioans.

He explains, “it's going to help a lot with pain issues, and I think in essence, we're going to begin to see the heroin epidemic start to fall because less people using pharmaceutical pills, the less of a heroin epidemic we're going to have."

Other people in the community are also excited to see medical marijuana legalized.

Gerry Freeman lives in Toledo. He tells 13abc, "I think it's a good idea, especially being medical marijuana, if it can help someone, why not? They got it up in Michigan, right?"

Others say they’re happy it'll be used to help medical patients, but they’re skeptical about what they think could be next.

John Kiefer says, “With the medical part, if someone's just using it for, like if they have cancer, I would go with it. But, it's not a good thing to legalize it all the way."

Rebecca Kiefer is a nurse. She says, "It helps control seizures, it helps control anxiety, and I think that's fine. But for casual, recreational use, I don't think it should be legalized.")

The bill still prevents patients from smoking marijuana or growing it at home. Those with certain chronic health conditions will be allowed to use the drug in vapor form or as an edible product.

The associated press reports that the bill will go into effect 90 days from right now. However, the program itself could take up to two years to fully develop.