Bob Bridges, a local cannabis advocate in Ohio, was recently fired from the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee because he was too vocal about his support of medical patients.
According to WOSU, Bridges has been an activist for a long time, and has helped pen many legalization bill proposals. Now, he has officially been removed from the committee that advises the State Medical Board of Ohio, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and the Ohio Department of Commerce on medical pot policy. “I received an email just randomly out of the blue,” Bridges said. “A lot of my focus was on patient protections. Like, if a patient goes to the hospital and they have their medication on them, is their medication going to be taken away by law enforcement? That’s happened here in Ohio.”
This upset the other members of the committee who wanted a softer, less confrontational approach. He took the most heat for inquiring if the medical program finally passed in Ohio would launch on time. “They were leading the public to believe that they were going to be able to,” he said. “I came out and said that it wasn’t going to happen, and they were forced to come out and say that it was.”
Those in power were probably bothered because his claims were correct. While the program was supposed to launch in September 2018, it didn’t end up taking off until January 2019. “I’d like to see it go a little quicker, be moving a lot faster,” Bridges said. “We have too much government in the way of letting the free market of this new industry in Ohio work.”
Despite the fact that the state recently legalized medical cannabis, Ohio has been behind the curve when it comes to making moves. Officials have recently rejected adding autism and anxiety as qualifying conditions, and certain county employees have been barred from using cannabis. The state may have to take a more proactive stance if they hope to move forward with legalization.