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Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Submit Initiative Petition To State A.G.

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ohioans for medical marijuana mppBackers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio submitted their initiative petition to the Ohio Attorney General on Thursday with more than 2,000 signatures.

The office has 10 days to examine the official summary of the initiative and confirm the petition contains at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters. The petition will then be sent to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will have 10 days to review the measure and confirm it complies with Ohio initiative laws. Initiative backers will then need to collect an additional 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July in order to qualify for the November ballot.

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, a campaign committee formed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), posted the full initiative text, the official initiative summary, and a Q&A with MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia on its website earlier this week at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

“This initiative was drafted to ensure seriously ill Ohioans have safe and legal access to medical marijuana if their doctors believe it will alleviate their pain and suffering,” said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. “The one benefit of not already having a medical marijuana law is that we were able to incorporate the best practices and lessons learned from the 23 states that do have one.”

In summary, the initiative would:

  • allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it and protect them from arrest, prosecution, or discrimination with regard to housing, health care (such as organ transplants), and child custody;
  • permit qualifying patients to grow a limited amount of marijuana for their medical use, designate a caregiver to grow it for them, or purchase medical marijuana from licensed and well-regulated dispensaries;
  • maintain commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, such as prohibitions on public marijuana use and driving under the influence of marijuana; and
  • establish a Medical Marijuana Control Division to oversee a tightly controlled system of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities, distributors, processing facilities, and testing facilities.

“Most Ohioans, like most Americans, support making medical marijuana legal for patients who could benefit from it,” Tvert said. “It’s time to stop punishing sick and dying people who are simply seeking relief. We’re confident most voters will agree come November.”

Three out of four Ohio voters (74%) support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to a statewide survey conducted in February by Public Policy Polling. Only 22% said they are opposed. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1Vt3vdA.

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Source: Ohioans for Medical Marijuana is supporting a 2016 ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. For more information, visit https://OhioansForMMJ.org.

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  • Franklin

    This is a good medical plan that establishes the rights to home grow. Ohio deserves it after that November cheat of the century. Focus on the medical and come back in 2018 with an adult retail plan.

  • MJ Android

    Such bull crap, the state already got over 350,000 signatures and ohioians already want cannabis, they didn’t want thee so called MONOPOLY

  • Closet Warrior

    Sounds like they finally got the language right to benefit the patient rather than “Responsible Ohio” and as long as the money and petition signatures are there things probably will go well. Good on ya Ohio

  • JohnB

    Anyone want to guess the odds that AG DeWine will find discrepancies between the summary and the actual amendment, and send it back to MPP for revision at least once, thereby reducing the time available for signature gathering?
    Any educated person with the least bit of experience with legal documents can look at the language of the MPP’s various amendments in Ohio and elsewhere and see that their attorneys didn’t exactly excel in legal writing while in law school.
    That inferior effort in turn gives guys like DeWine, who is adamantly opposed to any sort of cannabis law reform, plenty of room to obstruct the process, legally, in a very significant way.
    If he finds multiple errors, he still only has to tell the MPP about one, each time a new revision is submitted, and unless the MPP lawyers get their act together, in terms of legal writing, DeWine – a very competent attorney, no matter how much I personally dislike him – will keep playing ping-pong with them until they have run out of time to gather signatures.

    Now having said that, it is entirely possible that this will go right through the first time, but that depends entirely on whether the MPP authors did a better job writing the summary than they did writing the actual amendment.
    The kind of slipshod legalese that flew in Colorado is not likely to pass muster in Ohio, and the MPP would have done well to hire an OHIO attorney, such as Chris Stock, who is exceptional at legal writing, to draft both the amendment and the summary for Ohio.
    That’s water under the bridge now, but if they keep getting rejected, they should look in to getting some expert local help for their effort.

  • JohnB

    Well, Saints be praised! The summary is finally available on the AG.gov website, and with two minor exceptions, it seems to do a good job of summarizing the amendment itself.

    Those exceptions are 3.i; “Disposal of marijuana” (doesn’t include any description of the actual amendment provision here), and 19.a “Prevent discrimination…” (adds a provision that is only implied, not explicitly stated, in the actual amendment).

    Maybe it really will go through the first time!