Senator Bob Hagan (D-33rd District) introduced Senate Bill 74 which would allow doctors to recommend marijuana in certain cases, including with patients who suffer from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, nausea or chronic pain. The bill specifically does not authorize distribution of cannabis by primary caregivers or doctors and no insurance company can be forced to pay for medical use of marijuana. The introduction of this bill marks a victory for the Ohio Patient Network (OPN), the patient’s advocacy group behind state wide organizing. “Hopefully this bill will pass and the sick and dying can finally be taken off the battlefield in the War on Drugs,” said Joseph Zoretic, president of OPN.

The actual language of the bill uses the term “marihuana,” an interesting form of slang which yellow journalist William Hearst created and exploited in the 1930’s to demonize and ban Cannabis sativa. From 1850 to 1937, cannabis was used as the prime medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases in U.S. pharmacopoeia.

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