Ohio on Wednesday became the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana, meaning half the states have now legalized pot for medicinal purposes.
Gov. John Kasich signed the measure, which the Marijuana Policy Project called "a limited but workable medical marijuana bill that would allow seriously ill patients to use and purchase cannabis." The state legislature passed the bill after facing a growing legalization movement throughout the year, which had previously looked ready to put the issue on the ballot if the legislature didn't act.
Ohio's bill doesn't allow smoking or home cultivation. But after 90 days to take effect, it will allow people with certain conditions, including severe and chronic pain, to travel across state lines to states that have medical marijuana laws and take pot back to Ohio for medical uses. The state will also set up its own infrastructure for growing, processing, testing, and selling medical marijuana, although the Toledo Blade reported that process could take as long as two years.
Ohio most likely won't be the last state to loosen pot restrictions in 2016. Advocates plan to put full marijuana legalization on the ballot in a few states, including California, in November. If they succeed, Ohio could be part of a long string of victories for legal pot supporters this year.