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One of the most frustrating things about state-by-state medical cannabis legalization is the fact that different states approve medical patients for vastly different medical conditions. Patient who qualify in one state may not qualify in another. Some states are incredibly restrictive, only allowing cannabis access for the most severe of illnesses. Others are more liberal, keeping an open mind about conditions that could respond to cannabis and expanding their laws to include more people.
Ohio could soon become one of the most progressive states in terms of medical cannabis. That is because the state is looking to add five more qualifying conditions to their medical cannabis act. The initial legislation passed in Ohio included 21 medical conditions that would qualify individuals to legally use medical cannabis. Those conditions were AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy/seizure disorders, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic and severe or intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord injuries and diseases, Tourette Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, and ulcerative colitis.
Despite having a number of conditions, the Ohio medical law is more restrictive than other states nearby, such as Michigan. That could soon change if the Ohio State Medical Board recommends that the program add new medical conditions. They will vote this Wednesday about whether to add depression, insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and opioid use disorder, with a final vote for any approved at this stage scheduled for June.
Estimates indicate that roughly half the state of Ohio could qualify for a medical cannabis license if all five of those conditions get added to the existing program. It would also be the first time that estate has added depression as a qualifying condition on its own, although some states let doctors recommend cannabis for any appropriate medical condition.
Here at Ladybud, we have long advocated or cannabis as a potential tool for those struggling with chronic depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal ideation. It is encouraging that medical professionals and lawmakers are looking at both anecdote and evidence and realizing that medical cannabis could be a safer alternative for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who take psychiatric medications to control depression and anxiety.
For previous Ladybud articles about depression, click here.