Ohio sheriff, pharmacist respond to medical marijuana law

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2011, file photo, medical marijuana clone plants are shown at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. College students are most likely to try marijuana, inhalants and alcohol for the first time during the summer, not the school year, according to the report released Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which examined data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

CELINA, Ohio (WANE) – With medical marijuana becoming legal in Ohio Thursday, patients are left wondering how the law will take effect. It’s not clear exactly how the program will work. For now, no one is allowed to access medical marijuana.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey doesn’t like the law.

“I’ve got a lot of concerns,” he said. “I just see a lot of problems with it similar to what we have with Oxycontin and stuff. There’s a lot of drugs out there that were reduced to help people, but I think in a lot of ways they cause more destruction than they do helping and I think marijuana is going to fall into that.”

Grey believes fighting agains drugs is going to become more difficult for them.

“It makes it hard for us to determine whether you have drugs sometimes legally or illegally,” he said. “We catch people with pills sometimes and they want to argue with you that they have a prescription. Sometimes they do. So it’s going to make our job a whole lot harder.”

Grey said he understands there are people who need medical marijuana for their health, but thinks its legalization is just going to make their investigations more difficult.

Grey isn’t the only one with unanswered questions. Doctors, patients and pharmacists all are waiting on clarity.

A Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is developing regulations on a range of issues, such as how doctors are to recommend marijuana to patients. They’ll also clear up any clashing between Ohio and federal law.

Ohio Pharmacist Association Executive Director Ernest Boyd said all we know is that medical marijuana is legal.

“Ohio can now say it has a medical marijuana law,” he explained. “If somebody tries to set up a dispensary right now they’d be in big trouble because they don’t have any approval status for any place for you to come purchase medical marijuana.”

It could take up to a year to write up the laws for producing, prescribing and distributing medical marijuana. The medical marijuana program isn’t required to be fully operational until September 2018.

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