Frustrated medical marijuana advocates, patients in Ohio fight for the right to grow their own – The Columbus Dispatch


Users complain the marijuana products legally for sale in Ohio have high prices and low quality.

Frustrated by the slow pace of Ohio’s medical marijuana program, a growing chorus of patients and advocates are calling for the state to let medicinal cannabis users grow marijuana plants in their homes.

They say the products sold now have high prices and low quality.

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Cost is widely expected to drop as more marijuana dispensaries open, and industry representatives said that Ohio’s medical marijuana crops are well-tested and safe. A home-grow law is unlikely to go anywhere in the near future, as legislators are reluctant to alter the state’s medical marijuana law.

That hasn’t stopped the idea from gaining steam in recent months. A coalition of advocacy groups submitted two proposals to the Ohio General Assembly last month involving decriminalization and legalization. Both of them include a provision allowing home grow.

Advocates say the right to grow marijuana in their homes would solve many of the problems that medicinal marijuana users currently face.

“I think it’s no secret that it’s a failing program,” said Ohio Hemp Farmers Cooperative spokeswoman Julie Doran. The cooperative submitted proposed legislation outlining the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for all Ohioans older than 21 and the right to grow a small number of cannabis plants. A separate proposal outlines marijuana decriminalization and also includes a home-grow provision.

Legislators expressed concerns about the proposals earlier this month, including worries such as a potential increase in intoxicated driving.

Tim Johnson, co-founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, one of the advocacy groups behind the proposals, said activists believe public opinion is on their side.

But “we’re definitely going to have to fight for

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