CINCINNATI – Nicole Scholten has worked long and hard to make medical marijuana legal in Ohio for her daughter and other sufferers, but even though the law takes effect Thursday, there still are hurdles to overcome.
Legalizing medical marijuana had become the only hope for families like Scholten and 12-year-old Lucy. She has epilepsy, one of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.
Lucy and others like her stand to benefit greatly from the new law - eventually.
"Those are the people just like Lucy who have tried 12 to 20 different pharmaceuticals unsuccessfully - those are the people being helped by medical cannabis," said Scholten, director of Ohio Families CANN.
But it won't be simple for Lucy and hundreds of other qualified patients in Ohio to go out and buy medical marijuana.
First, state lawmakers must set rules as to how and where the drug will be grown and bought.
That could take at least two years.
"I don't think it's surprising to me that there is more education that needs to be done in order to make sure that every township, every council in every neighborhood, as this promising treatment is ushered in," Scholten said.
Several local communities including Hamilton, Colerain Township and Liberty Township have placed a temporary ban on medical marijuana to allow more time to review.
Here are things to keep in mind about medical marijuana.
1) You can be fired for using if it's against your company's drug policy.
2) Marijuana businesses must be at least 500 feet from schools, playgrounds, libraries and churches.
3) It's not legal to smoke it.
More about medical marijuana: What's legal, what's not and what's ahead