Barbara Hoppe, council member from Columbia’s Sixth Ward, introduced legislation earlier this year that would allow people to grow up to six plants at home. Those without a medical recommendation from a doctor would face a $250 fine and the confiscation of their plants if busted. Medical patients wouldn’t face any penalties. That plan saw a lot of scrutiny, so Hoppe has rewritten her bill.
Her new plan, introduced this week and set for a hearing at the October 20 council meeting, allows for only two plants to be grown in a locked area and would allow medical patients to designate growing to a caregiver.
If approved, those with cancer, MS, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, migraines, arthritis, severe pain and several other conditions to legally grow in their homes with a doctor’s recommendation.
The move has support so far from the Columbia Disabilities Commission, which supported the move as a way to increase access to affordable forms of medication for patients.
But of course, there’s opposition. Councilman Dan Rader, who owns a bar and yet sits on the city’s substance abuse advisory council, said he was concerned that the law would “create a lot of confusion” and is a matter for the state legislature and not city council.
Columbia City Council will take up the matter at it’s Oct. 20 meeting.