Dennis Kucinich, candidate for Ohio governor, says legalizing marijuana can help with opioid crisis

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Kucinich wants to fully legalize marijuana, a move he said would have positive implications for criminal justice, agriculture and even the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.

Kucinich unveiled a sweeping marijuana plan on Wednesday, calling for allowing medical-marijuana patients to grow their own plants, fully legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, as well as legalizing the production of hemp, the less-potent cannabis strain with industrial and commercial applications.

He said expanding medical marijuana research could help develop alternatives for opioid painkillers, which have played a central role in the state’s drug-addiction crisis. Medical research has suggested marijuana holds promise both as a way to manage pain and to help limit opioid use.

He also criticized the state for mishandling setting up the medical marijuana program approved by state lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich in 2016.

“Every day that Ohioans go without access to medical cannabis, the state

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