COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Dawn Faugl) — The news that medical marijuana won’t be on the Ohio ballot this year is being met with sadness out west. A number of Ohio families have moved to Colorado to get medical marijuana for their kids. They’re called marijuana refugees.
These Ohio families now live in Colorado because medical marijuana is legal there. They say they want to move back to Ohio but can’t because medical marijuana is illegal and, now, not on the ballot.
Earlier this year, ABC 6/FOX 28 introduced you to Hunter Shaffer. The family moved to Colorado to get help for Hunter’s severe epilepsy. In January, his mother Dana Shaffer told ABC 6/FOX 28 “We came out here for treatment because Ohio does not offer the treatment he needs.”
The treatment is a special type of marijuana oil. While it doesn’t get kids high, it may help control their seizures. As Dana Shaffer explained, “We need to prevent this. Hunter is at a high risk of dying in his sleep because of the types of seizures he has.”
Hunter has now been treated with marijuana oil for about 7 months. His mom says he’s happier, his memory is better, and his need for pharmaceutical drugs has been cut in half. It’s what she hoped for when she talked to ABC 6/FOX 28 six months ago. “Even if it doesn’t take his seizures completely away but maybe half of them or part of them, it’s still worth the trip,” she said.
But the Shaffers and other marijuana refugees can’t come back to Ohio. Bringing marijuana medicine across state lines could land them in jail. So, they remain in Colorado, waiting for Ohio laws to change.
When ABC 6/FOX 28 went to Colorado, reporter Chris Vanocur asked Dana Shaffer,”Do you wish Ohio allowed medical marijuana?” “It would be wonderful,” she responded.
Supporters hope to get medical marijuana on a future Ohio ballot. A bill is also being drafted to let kids use the marijuana oil in Ohio.
‘Marijuana Refugees’ Disappointed After Medical Marijuana Off Ohio Ballot
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