Ohio tried to become the first state to skip legalizing medical marijuana and go straight to full recreational marijuana legalization in 2015. That effort was soundly defeated. Immediately after the recreational marijuana legalization initiative was defeated, activists were calling for organizations to step in and put together a better effort. Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) stepped up and announced that it would be pushing for a medical marijuana initiative for the 2016 ballot. Up until today, there weren’t any details available. However, today MPP released some details, per Cleveland.Com:
The amendment will establish a system where patients with certain medical conditions can apply for a medical marijuana ID card that allows them to buy and possess marijuana. The state would license businesses to grow, process, test, distribute and sell medical marijuana, and sales tax would be applied. License fees and tax revenues would pay for the program’s administrative costs.
Kampia said patients and their caregivers could grow their own marijuana as soon as the amendment becomes law.
And there will not be a monopoly, a sticking point with the recreational marijuana amendment last year.
“The retail price in Ohio will inevitably be slightly lower than in other states, because the Ohio initiative won’t impose large taxes or bureaucratic hurdles that would translate into higher prices,” Kampia wrote. “Also, the Ohio initiative will embrace a healthy, free-market approach to the production of medical marijuana, which will drive down the cost as compared to, say, an oligopoly or a government-run monopoly.”
The effort will not have that much time to collect signatures. Per the previously linked to article, initiative language approval is expected next month, with signature gathering beginning in April. The campaign will have just a little over a couple of months to gather 305,591 valid signatures by the July 6 deadline. That’s a very tight turnaround, and will require a tremendous signature gathering effort involving a lot of people. If the signature gathering effort is successful, Ohio would join Florida and maybe Missouri in voting on medical marijuana in November.