State Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township), who represents the west side of Hamilton County, did offer comments on the bill and says that, while he’s in support of medical marijuana he can’t support this particular bill.
“I would be happy to support it except for one small exception,” Seitz says. “It still exposes people to federal prosecution.”
Seitz notes that even though President Obama announced last year that medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized the dispensaries would not be prosecuted under federal law, these dispensaries are still technically in violation of federal law.
“It’s an enlightened view of the Obama administration,” he says. “But what happens if he has a change of heart or the next administration takes office? While these concerns are perhaps fanciful with the Obama administration, they are not fanciful with administrations that may follow.”
Medical marijuana should be legalized, Seitz says, but at a federal level.
“I’ve read enough of the literature to be convinced that there’s a body of scientific evidence that shows that there are a variety of conditions with which marijuana is an appropriate part of the treatment,” he says.
There’s no rational reason to believe that the legalization of medical marijuana should lead to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, Seitz adds. He calls this a “bugaboo” that doesn’t follow, comparing it to the use of opiates prescribed by doctors versus the illegal use of opiates by recreational drug users.
Federal lawmakers should make an exception in federal law for medical purposes, he says. Seitz believes that letting states decide on the legality of medical marijuana is consistent with Tea Party values and something he’d like to see that movement get behind.
“I detect a substantial streak of Libertarianism thought in the Tea Party,” Seitz says.
For his part, Yuko says there is an interest in the legislature in the bill but a lack of conviction among lawmakers; he isn’t optimistic about the bill’s passage.
“Obviously you can always hope you can make things happen, but realistically … it’s going to be a lengthy process,” Yuko says.
Kettering resident Tonya Davis, a victim of domestic violence 15 years ago that left her with crippling injuries to her spine and problems with her intestines, is a staunch supporter of the bill. Davis uses marijuana regularly to manage pain associated with her injuries.
“I eat it, I smoke it, I vaporize it, I do whatever I can do,” she says.
Davis relies on persons willing to “compassionately donate” marijuana to her since she fears prosecution if she were to go out and try to purchase it. Marijuana has eased her pain and has fewer side effects than prescribed drugs, she adds. Her experiences with OxyContin and morphine were overwhelmingly bad.
“Even the smallest dose would make me violently ill,” Davis says. “I would be so high I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t think to pay my bills. I had to try something else.”
Davis is shocked that state lawmakers are willing to support gambling at casinos or the rights of strip clubs to operate but are unwilling to recognize her simple, medical needs.
“My use of medical cannabis was so I could be a productive member of society,” she says. “I am really sick and no one can dispute that. I deserve a fighting chance.”
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