A medical marijuana bill is currently working its way through the Ohio House of Representatives that would give legal protections and access to patients in the state, but it is more restrictive than what activists are attempting to get on the ballot this fall.
As is, the bill in the legislature would put a cap on THC levels in concentrates and flowers as well as not allowing smoked cannabis or home growing. The group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana is busy gathering signatures to get a measure on the ballot in November; that initiative would allow home growing and smoked marijuana and also comes with no THC limits and covers more qualifying conditions than the legislature measure.
The Ohio House could vote on the bill this week. Some fear what the legislature is doing is an attempt to take the wind out of the sails of ballot efforts. If politicians in Ohio pass a bill they can be seen as “doing something” while showing some voters that enough has been done and there is no need to do more at the polls.
In this context it’s reasonable to wonder if it would be better if the Ohio legislature didn’t pass a medical marijuana bill, considering a better one is likely to be on the ballot in the fall. With the backing of the Marijuana Policy Project, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana have the funding and expertise needed to get the job done. Accepting something as being better than nothing is far different from accepting something when something much better could be voted on in 6 months.
The battle for medical marijuana will be a fierce one this year as opponents are getting desperate to stop the unstoppable. Every victory for marijuana law reform is another nail in the coffin of the opposition.