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Government & Politics

Patients Weigh In On Ohio's Medical Marijuana Proposals

photo of Dana Kovach
JO INGLES
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Patients who want medical marijuana in Ohio are starting to take sides in which plans they support.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Dana Kovach was at the Statehouse when leaders of a legislative task force announced their medical marijuana bill.

“I’ll never forget the day they announced it, I came up. I had red, white and blue on. I was so excited. I even told the press, “it’s like Christmas for my family.” And then I read it.”

Kovach says the bill was too vague, too restrictive to help her seriously ill son, who she says she wants to be able to help with legal medicinal cannabis. She’s now supporting Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, one of two groups trying to put a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot. That group has been behind successful efforts in other states. Joe Brimfield of Athens County is supporting another grassroots group that’s also working to put a medical marijuana and hemp legalization issue on the ballot. He doesn’t like the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana plan, saying it reminds him of last fall’s rejected ballot issue that would have legalized pot under a regulatory system some called a monopoly.

“In my eyes, this is Responsible Ohio 2.0.”

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says it’s important to remember the state Legislature is still holding hearings on its bill.

“The bill can change. It’s a legislative process. So if you’ve got issues with the bill, I would encourage those people to participate in the legislative process.”

Kovach says she’s done that. She and Brimfield say they are moving ahead with supporting their respective medical marijuana ballot issues.