As the Marijuana Policy Project collects signatures to get their medical cannabis measure on the fall ballot, the Ohio legislature will consider a bill that would allow licensed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any ailment at all.
By contrast, the MPP bill would limit the number of ailments doctors could prescribe cannabis for. On the flip side, the MPP bill would allow limited home growing by patients whereas the legislature bill would allow none.
Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, the group on the ground in Ohio supporting the MPP measure, is pushing hard for the November ballot. Everyone is aware that there is no way to know what will come out of the legislature and when that will be, if the legislature passes anything at all.
“Far too many legislatures have passed flawed or inadequate medical marijuana laws that leave too many patients behind or fail to meet their needs,” MPP Communications Director Mason Tvert said. “Lawmakers often dislike initiatives and assume they could draft better laws, but with all due respect, they’ve spent a couple months looking at this issue and we’ve been focusing on it for a couple decades.”
So it seems the race is on to see what kind of protections medical cannabis patients in Ohio get. Competition is a good thing and hopefully medical marijuana legalization will happen in the state by the end of the year.
There is also the possibility of things getting bogged down in the state as activists pick sides, much the same way they did last year with Issue 3. What started as a promising way to get medical and recreational legalization in the state of Ohio turned into a hated oligopoly that lost by almost 30 percentage points. The end result: cannabis users in Ohio are back where they started, this time fighting for medical only.
Time will tell if they are able to get at least that much before 2016 is over.