Thursday, June 14, 2018
The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper just posted to SSRN authored by A. Lee Hannah. Here is its abstract:
Why did the state of Ohio adopt a medical marijuana policy? And why did it do so in 2016? This article addresses these questions by examining the diffusion of medical cannabis policy across the U.S., by describing the evolution of images related to the policy, and by exploring the content of the law.
Using evidence from legislators’ remarks on the floor of the Ohio General Assembly and interviews with activists and analysts, I show that the direct initiative helped push members of the Ohio General Assembly to write and adopt a medical marijuana law (MML) when they were unlikely to do so. Next, I analyze trends in media coverage of medical marijuana to demonstrate that the spread of the policy has also been aided by shifting images related to the beneficiaries of medical cannabis programs. Turning to the content of the law, I find that Ohio’s MML is written similarly to later adopters in the Midwest – where laws are more restrictive and medicalized. Finally, I assess how the characteristics of the law and looming elections will affect the implementation of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.