ohioans for medical marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Suspend 2016 Signature Drive

ohioans for medical marijuanaI received the below press release from the Ohio medical marijuana campaign:

Statement can be attributed to Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana.

Late Friday evening, after considerable discussion, the decision was made to suspend our drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio ballot.

We make this decision with a heavy heart as we will surely disappoint our many volunteers, supporters and patient-advocates who invested considerable time and effort in our movement.

It had become increasingly clear following the state legislature’s passage of a medical marijuana law on Wednesday that our ballot issue campaign had arrived at a critical juncture.

With several hundred thousand signatures collected thus far, one option for our movement would have been to continue to pour our resources into obtaining the additional signatures needed to put the issue before voters.

But the reality is that raising funds for medical marijuana policy changes is incredibly difficult, especially given the improvements made to the proposed program by the Ohio General Assembly and the fact that the Governor is expected to sign the bill.

As we said following Wednesday’s vote, the legislature’s action on medical marijuana was a step forward, and thanks to the intense advocacy efforts of patients and their families, activists and our team the bill was vastly improved before passage. Removed from the bill was much of the red tape and onerous regulations that would have severely limited patient access, and added was a very important provision granting an affirmative defense to qualifying patients beginning this fall. Also stripped from the bill were troubling provisions raising the threshold for pain.

To be sure, there are shortcomings to the legislature’s measure. There are a number of qualifying conditions which should have been included, and we firmly believe that patients should have the right to smoke and grow their own medical marijuana.

But, all in all, it is a moderately good piece of legislation passed by lawmakers who were pushed hard by the patient community.

We plan on continuing forward as an advocacy effort to ensure that the State of Ohio lives up to the promises contained in HB 523, but also working to better the program utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements.

But the reality is for us, this campaign to put our issue on the 2016 ballot ends today. To everyone who joined us on this effort, especially those patients and their families who will benefit from Ohio’s new medical marijuana program, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

Sincerely,
Brandon Lynaugh

  • NickyChuck

    I don’t live in Ohio, but I have to say I’m a little disappointed. Ohioans would probably prefer that their rights to medical cannabis be enshrined in the state Constitution, as the ballot initiative would have done, rather than just being a law, which the Republican legislature and governor can change any time they want. Now that there’s no looming medical vote, which would have had an extremely good shot at passing considering the support for medical cannabis in Ohio, government officials have one less reason to do the right thing.

  • Grant Reed

    Extremely disappointed that MPP and OMM would allow the corruption in the Ohio Legislature to destroy the cause. The Governor has not even signed the Bill and they are quitting on a holiday weekend. This isn’t the first time Ohio Politicians have gotten rid of good people trying to make a difference. Sad day for all hopeful patients in Ohio. In two years when most of these politicians are collecting their pensions only a handful of Ohioans who have jumped through every hoop and paid every fee will be close to legal medicinal marijuana. Truly sad

  • Politics pure and simple, get it off the ballot for a Repub advantage, something is rotten in Ohio.

  • MJ Android

    Ohio is in a pile of crap with this issue, lot of scrutiny to it and its ridiculous. Should have been fully legal already, OHIOIANS FAVOR it with NO MONOPOLY. Under this bill, no homegrown is allowed. And vaporized consumption only. Bs do what you want.

  • JeffWalenta

    Ohio should of voted when they had the chance instead of waiting for the perfect law to come around.

    • Sharon Taulbee

      Given that last years amendment issue failed is a good thing…..outsiders….. rich, greedy little bastereds tried to monopolize a billion dollar industry in Ohio for them selves….playing like they were doing it for us…..validation came upon ballot failure when one of them said that they honestly thought Ohioans were more stupid than that….Same group comes back reincarnated as the good guys fighting for Ohio patients this year….I thank them for their time and effort…our legislators would never have legalized for medical use or anything else without the looming threat of their power and authority having been ripped from them by the people through vote. Yeah, they most likely will be a bunch of inconsiderate…dis compassioned…threats over so criminalize patients again….dicks….but….we can and will vote their ass out of office….after the rioting and blood shed. It is sad…but the truth is MPP members are receiving death threats and various impassioned people are not at all happy about the cease and desist. I am very sorry that they and their families are being targeted for perceived betrayal….I instead Thank them for helping us to get this far. Pray they and their families are kept safe…Please…As for our legislators…we can and will vote them out of office should they try to be more restrictive and or remove this legislation…it would be ill advised to betray Ohio patients at this point….especially if Republicans want to maintain their majority..their power was given by the people and it can be removed by the people….

      • JohnB

        That’s exactly the kind of MISINFORMATION that hurt issue 3 last year; there were NO “outsiders” among the investors.
        ALL were Ohio residents, and most of them life-long residents.
        Two of them are my friends, and it still makes me angry that so many people who never even met them wanted to talk all kinds of crap about them, or repeat all kinds of unfounded and untrue character assassination about them.
        Shame on all who did so.
        Yes, those folks wanted to make some money, but they also wanted to reform cannabis law in a way that would have been truly mold-shattering – AND they put up their own money to try to make that happen.
        For that, they got lambasted with the kinds of lies and bullshit that I used to think only prohibitionists could say without blushing.

  • saynotohypocrisy

    One wealthy benefactor could have prevented this. Probably still could.

    • JohnB

      How sad, then, to consider that we had no less than 50 wealthy benefactors LAST year, who put their own money on the line.
      What they got in return was a steaming pile of misinformation from the media, a PAC leader who did NOTHING to counter those lies (I’m looking at YOU, Ian James), and a whole lot of jealous “advocates” who spammed comment sections non-stop with lies about issue 3, all because it either wasn’t their idea, or because they didn’t get a FREE piece of the pie.

      • darthhillbilly

        The “Buddy” mascot was a horrible idea…took away credibility, and lent an imature air…but it was a better option.

  • moldy

    No home grow? BS

  • The legislation giveth and the legislation can taketh away EVEN EASIER.

    The bill was created by haters and is about to be signed by a hater so what the hell do you expect to happen?

    This IS NOT a medical marijuana bill this is a “we now control all MMJ so screw you Ohio sick people.”

    No home grow, vape only, blah, blah, blah, felony, felony, felony

    They will destroy this “law” after in place and shut it down just like Montana. They are purely doing this to circumvent the AWESOME proposal that would have put MMJ in the hands of the people.

    I am fairly pissed at Ohioans for Medical Marijuana for this COWARDLY act.

    We in Michigan have been busting our asses to get something done and here is a little hick-up so “SHUT IT DOWN”.

    And WTF are they saying this is a step forward? A horribly crafted bill by haters is NOT a step forward.

    I actually had made plans to move my grow to Ohio next April and be a
    consultant on one of the 25,000 sq. ft. grows. I guess that’s not gonna
    happen now, too bad for you, Ohio.

  • Sharon Taulbee

    Yeah…I agree…it does in fact suck….I live in Ohio…born here…I think the biggest aspect of Ohio’s new proposed legislation that stopped the amendment proposal is that Ohioans who have lived here for no less than 5 years prior to application for marijuana related business licensing are permitted to apply…the law if signed by the Governor…would effectively prevent outside interests….a billion dollar business for Ohioans by Ohioans….Right about now I am deeply depressed about being not only an Ohio patient but also being a low income disabled Ohioan. I have dreamed of having my own farm some day…I would love to have been in a position to not only grow medical marijuana but also own and operate dispensaries to provide Ohio patients the highest quality medical marijuana that can be grown…organically…Reality is that unless I win the jackpot of the lottery…I will never be able afford any farm or business on the $733 dollars a month that I live on…Damn Republicans…

    • I live in Illinois. The Democrats are no prize. Some one owns both parties. And it ain’t the citizens.

      • Powhatan

        cha ching……. both parties are in full service to the money interests and have been for a long time.

    • Sharon Taulbee

      You can say that again…but given the extent that Republicans out number the Democrats by a pretty large margin in both House and Senate here in Ohio….they are the ones primarily responsible for and influencing HB523 and how it is written….

    • Powhatan

      how were you ever going to be a farmer if you are disabled.? If you don’t make enough income it’s the Republicans fault? If it isn’t their fault then who would get the blame?

      • Sharon Taulbee

        Where there’s a will….I wasn’t always disabled….however, because I am now…I could never afford a farm of my own…so…nonissue. However…I do”pray against poverty” via lottery tickets here and there…that happens….I could hire a Forman and some employees…small house close to mine so my Forman and his/her family could live on the farm with me…maybe a separate bunkhouse for others. Meetings over breakfast to go over things and address any issues. Open discussion so anyone can share ideas and has a respected voice. There was a basket company I heard about that treated their employees so well that everyone one felt valued and invested in the company…wanted to see it succeeded and it did for a long time…part of the farm would be designated as providing food to the local food bank.. Part would be to provide free med. to local patients in need who cannot afford vets/disabled…and so on. Being disabled does not mean you can’t ever…it means adapted and overcome…somehow…and give it your best shot…what’s that saying?…”you never know till you try” (credit to whoever said that first)…next question please…lol

      • Sharon Taulbee

        As far as blame goes…that is difficult…myself….the human traffickers for having me assaulted for refusing them and standing up for myself…law enforcement for blatant dereliction of duty/gross negligence….blame game is easy…but does it accomplish positive things and heal what has been injured or return that which has been taken…

  • myconaut

    Ohio could have had home grow after November 2015 with the RO initiative, flawed as it was. At least it included home growing and a legal market where adults could purchase flower, edibles and concentrates. Now Ohio has received this steaming turd with no flower, no smoking, and no homegrowing. And you have to be on death’s door to be eligible for this limited system. Ohio really screwed the pooch last year, so they can now lie in the bed that they have made for themselves.

  • myconaut

    Ohio defeated a measure in 2015 that would have allowed home growing. They also voted in all of the legislators who pushed through this pile of feces, as well as their prohibitionist governor. So this is what you voted for, Ohio. Congratulations. I hope you’re happy!

  • skoallio

    What was there to gain from MPP doing this? What the state legislature passed is NOT THE SAME. Its an INFERIOR version with no homegrows, no smokable pot, no pot candy and no one could get a script.

    • wowFAD

      You’re pretending to support medical cannabis, now. Seriously, pal — pick a side. Your frequent and inconsistent dissociation of identity between articles only further undercuts your credibility.

      On the Maine article, you’re cheering Project SAM. On this article, you’re demanding more liberal policies in Ohio. On one article, you’re supporting Bernie Sanders. In another, you’re in Trump’s corner.

      Maybe that explains your frequent opinion pivots: You’re Donald Trump!

      At least I know you’re still there. After you *once again* tucked tail and scampered away from the trouncing I served you on the Maine article, I was worried you finally put your hand through your computer, which would make me sad. Had you done that, we would no longer have these touching moments, together. LOL

  • JohnB

    I understand the need for the MPP (and any organization) to allocate finite resources in ways that maximize their return.

    What I don’t understand is making this announcement before Kasich has actually signed HB 523. A veto by Kasich would make the MPP look foolishly presumptive.

    All-in-all, the Senate took a wholly unworkable bill and made just enough improvements to get it passed, but the bill still suffers from major shortcomings, most notable of which is NOT the unenforceable ban on smoking, nor even the ridiculous ban on home grow, but the requirements for doctors.

    If no doctors are prepared to jump through the many hoops required to recommend cannabis in Ohio, then the program will not in fact come to exist.

    I think that’s a very real possibility for most doctors. To be sure, there will be some doctors who pretty much switch to doing nothing but cannabis recommendations, but as the bill requires an existing and bona fide doctor-patient relationship, even those doctors may find it impossible to operate under the new law.

    My own primary care physician is a young guy who is pretty much open to recommending cannabis, but he has told me very explicitly that he will not participate in Ohio’s program because of the way it is structured, and the impact that structure would have on the rest of his practice.

    In some ways, HB 523’s requirements remind me of the McCarthy era; it certainly was perfectly legal to BE a communist, but almost no one would dare admit it, and the few who did were crucified by the court of public opinion.

    When doctors have to justify picking cannabis over some existing pill (every ninety days, no less), and have to get special licenses and training to even make the recommendation in the first place, and will further face special scrutiny from the medical board for even having the temerity to make any such recommendation, and will have their malpractice insurance jacked up, then an actual functioning medical cannabis program cannot begin.

    • Shut down before the bill was signed…..Hmmm, guess the Gov doesn’t even have to sign it now.

      Problem averted by intimidation, what a bunch of pussies.

      The OMM needs to put their little girl panties back on and go home crying to momma.

      • Sharon Taulbee

        FYI…..pussies are hard core…you’ll never see a wimp ass dick give birth…lol…better put their tighty whities back on and stuff their emotions until they develop health issues from not being strong enough to let themselves cry and discuss their emotions….(joking in a passive aggressive feministic fashion not really meant to start anything. Hoping you have a sense of humor….) You opened the door (sheepishly grinning)

        • UnderSerf

          LOL, I was there through 4 of my kid’s births (two were so fast I missed the birth cuz I was going pee or getting a snack ;) and I learned pussies are HIGHLY under-rated :)

    • wowFAD

      Jeez. I really had no idea *that* is what was passed. Honestly, I barely acknowledged the existence of this legislation because the initiative seemed to be on track. Now that MPP has opted to redirect their resources elsewhere, I’m seriously concerned for the patients in Ohio. I hate to say it, but you have to be lucky to find a doctor who is willing to go the extra mile to do what’s best for his/her patients, these days. Now, the Ohio legislature is forcing physicians to go the extra TEN miles for an objectively safer treatment option. How can an increase in malpractice premiums be rationally justified for recommending a treatment from which nobody has ever died? That’s asinine. That’s like having your car insurance go up for driving *MORE* safely!

      I thought maybe MPP had some greater strategy in mind, but now I’m not sure. This legislation is going to make things tough for folks in Ohio. The only people who will know or care how hamstrung this program will be are the patients barred from safe, legal access by all the needless complexity and red tape. Voters who aren’t patients won’t know it’s unworkable unless the media gives the difficulties of the program due attention, which is a gamble at best. A sizable chunk of voters may think this legislation is “good enough” and won’t support a better law in the future.

      I’m starting to think the 2015 “oligopoly” model would have been preferable to this outcome — at least that allowed for home cultivation. This law sounds as if it was deliberately structured to make it prohibitively difficult for doctors and patients, alike. The details you’ve given make me think its only intention was to deflate the no-longer pending initiative’s momentum. Lo and behold, *IT WORKED*. MPP called it quits.

      Now that Ohio has supposedly checked off the medical cannabis box, perhaps *only* a full adult use legalization initiative can garner enough support to pass at the ballot if it adequately contrasts with this law’s shortcomings. However, that is potentially four years away because I don’t know anything about Ohio’s turnout in midterms. In the meantime, patients will suffer and prohibition will hold its ground (for at least a few more years). Sure, maybe this *is* a case of necessary triage because of finite resources, but it sucks for the people of Ohio. MPP giving up on the Ohio initiative is like kicking a field goal when you’re ten yards from a touchdown. Three points with minimal effort, but not an accomplishment that makes anybody stand up and cheer (maybe a sedate golf clap, at best).

      • JohnB

        Your summary and observations are accurate, to this Ohioan.
        What makes the MPP decision even less understandable is that they already had, by their own count, about 2/3 of the petition signatures they needed to get it on the ballot, with a month of huge festivals all across Ohio still to go.
        How much could it have cost to get that extra third?
        The 200,000 they had already collected were all gotten by volunteers, and cost the MPP essentially nothing.
        You will forgive me if I think something else happened behind the curtains to make the MPP capitulate.

        • saynotohypocrisy

          You will forgive me if I think something else happened behind the curtains to make the MPP capitulate.

          I can’t help but wonder about that too. They don’t even know if dirtbag Kasich will sign it, and they don’t know if doctors will go thru the hoops necessary to participate, and they already had so many signatures. Maybe they were afraid it wouldn’t pass anymore, the national reform groups seem terrified of ever losing at the polls.

  • Sharon Taulbee

    Last I heard…many of us, (patients) are trying to regroup and finish the signatures. I can’t seem to get a straight answer on whether MPP took the signatures paid for and the amendment proposal with them when they left. We, (the patients) desperately want to follow thru on our own….MPP…did take all the funding with them so now we need financial support as well….I don’t understand why we can’t gather signatures on line in addition to events….