Ohio Hoping New Medical Marijuana Law Will Ease Its Opioid Crisis


The headline above sounds similar to a passage from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s anti-war song “Ohio,” which chronicled the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University nearly 50 years ago.

But it’s actually a description of what is happening today in the Buckeye State, where opioid overdoses are killing people in large numbers.

Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2016, there were 3,613 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Ohio — a rate of almost 33 deaths per 100,000 people.

That’s more than double the national rate of 13 deaths per 100,000, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

A medical marijuana bill in Ohio passed and signed into law in 2016 was enacted two weeks ago.

Ohio residents with at least one of 21 qualifying conditions can now get a doctor’s recommendation to purchase marijuana at state-licensed dispensaries.