Ohio NFL teams fans are trying to qualify for Medical Cannabis

By Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer 

Who is excited for the Super Bowl? I’m just excited that the Patriots are out for the year! Anyway, growing up in Pittsburgh, in “Steeler Nation,” everyone was a huge hometown fan. Houses decked out in black and gold, terrible towels waving, everyone wearing their Steelers swag proudly. 

In Ohio, apparently the fans feel the same way about their team. So strongly in fact, according to a CNN article, “the State Medical Board of Ohio is officially considering a petition that asks Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals fandom be considered a qualifying condition to legally obtain medical marijuana.”

This gave me a little chuckle at first, thinking it was a joke, but then I realized it was serious. According to the article, Tessie Pollock, chief communications officer at the State Medical Board of Ohio, did confirm that the proposed condition is being considered. 

Currently, under Ohio law, the following conditions are considered qualifying conditions for a patient to be enrolled in the state medical marijuana program: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy/seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic, severe/intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, HIV+ status, PTSD, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.

The state medical board of Ohio held a submission period for patients to send in petitions to add qualifying conditions from November 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Petitions had to include plenty of supporting information such as clinical evidence, supporting letters from physicians, relevant evidence, expert review, and review of the current therapy for the condition being requested. During this period, 28 petitions were filed, mostly for medical conditions, but the one that stood out was called, “Bengals/Browns fans.” You can view the 28 categories here; Bengals/Browns Fans are #10, right between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome. 

The Medical Marijuana Committee will meet on February 12 to decide which petitions will be considered, and final voting will take place over the summer. 

What do you think? Will Ohio football fans be able to legally use medical marijuana?

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