GRANVILLE, Ohio – A marijuana loophole in a village known for cracking down on drugs was overturned in Granville Wednesday night.
The loophole was discovered in the Granville General Offense Code and states that patients with a prior written recommendation from a licensed physician can’t be convicted for possessing marijuana.
In a 6-1 vote, the Granville City Council changed the law’s wording, to fall in sync with Ohio law.
There were just three lines in the code that meant the difference between a normal life and pain for some people like James Malick.
“It feels like somebody hits you in the face all day long is the way I feel then. About five, ten times a day it feels like somebody comes up and hits you in the face with a brick and you just drop to your knees,” Malick said.
“I have a lot of stabbing nerve pain and headaches and nausea,” a patient named Cindy shared.
Both patients said the symptoms are the result of nerve damage that they’ve spent years trying unsuccessfully to manage.
Malick said his doctors feel the only permanent solution is a risky brain surgery that could leave him worse off.
“They said coma, paralyzed, or seizures for the rest of my life,” he said.
The one drug both patients say makes the pain stop is medical marijuana.
“I’m a patient I know how it can help patients,” said LeAnne Barbee, who is an advocate for medical marijuana.
But in Granville, an ordinance that prevents the prosecution of patients who have medical marijuana has been taken off the books.
Dennis Cauchon recently wrote an article about the ordinance to make patients aware that it was available, but his article also drew the attention of Granville Village Law Director Mike King.
King recommended that the village council adopt a new ordinance that he believes falls more in line with the Ohio Revised Code.
King said the current code states, “Prior written recommendation from a doctor is not the same as a lawful prescription,” because there is currently no such thing as a lawful prescription for marijuana in Ohio.
But medical marijuana advocates like Cauchon said that local municipalities have the power to decide how to handle misdemeanor drug offenses.
“I thought as a person that’s the least I can do, you know, is stand up for them and say that they should be in charge of their own health,” Cauchon said.
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