Ohio Medical Marijuana Legalization Petition Drive Underway

Ohio Medical Marijuana Legalization Petition Drive Underway

COLUMBUS, OH — A signature gathering campaign aimed at placing marijuana reform on the ballot has begun in Ohio, and the group sponsoring the initiative is hopeful they will place the issue before voters next year.

The Cannabis Rights Amendment, sponsored by the Ohio Rights Group with the help of local grassroots organizations statewide, would authorize the medical use of marijuana by adults 18 years or older (and minors with parental consent) as well as the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state.

Ohio Rights Group

Initially, a list of over 30 debilitating medical conditions would be eligible for medical marijuana.

In order for the Cannabis Rights Amendment to be placed on the 2014 ballot, sponsors need to collect 385,253 signatures in at least 44 of the state’s 88 counties by July 3, 2014.

As with most petition drives for ballot initiatives, the petition campaign is accompanied by a push to register voters because only signatures from registered voters count toward the number needed.

In response to the petition, several grassroots organizations have sprouted to help gather support — and signatures.  Among them, a new affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Southeast Ohio NORML, as well as a Chillicothe based group calling themselves “Freedom Fighters.”

The Cannabis Rights Amendment, if put on the ballot and passed, lists specific medical conditions such as glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cancer and Crohn’s disease, that would be required for treatment.

The amendment also would direct the Ohio Department of Agriculture to be the agency in charge of regulating who could grow and sell hemp for industrial uses such as paper, fuel, foods and building materials.

The amendment would not change existing laws regarding driving under the influence or public smoking bans. The full text of the amendment appears here, and the highlights of the amendment can be found here.

The petition was certified by the Ohio Attorney General in May.

An attempt to authorize medical marijuana, House Bill 153, was introduced at the State House by Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) in May, but has not been scheduled for a hearing.


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  • Josh Smith

    This state is KEY to Medical Marijuana legalization!! You cannot win the presidency without the support of Ohio! I hope this passes!! MMJ should be legal nationwide!! It will also boost the economy–It is projected to be a 40-50 billion dollar industry by 2016! This will help the ailing US economy by giving us much needed tax revenue and create jobs!! This also is a great medicine and is currently being studied on its efficacy in curing cancer!! Why was Marijuana ever illegal!! The american public supports legalization its only a matter of time!!

  • Derik Sloan

    I have been a supporter and activist for cannabis/hemp about ten years now because the establishment is wrong. Cannabis is one of the healthiest complete and natural foods you can eat. Humans could live off cannabis without any healthy problems or deficiencies due to lack of nutrition. Humans and animals Have ECS or endo-cannabinoid system that has evolved over millions of years. We make this Chemical naturally within our bodies. For the past 10000+ years humans have used cannabis for food, clothing, paper, and medicine until the 1930’s. It was wrong for the establishment to outlaw this plant. Its hard for some to except but the World market needs cannabis/hemp more then ever. Ohio is suffering because of the lack of support, and the abuse of taxpayers money. Cannabis would began to restructure and broken state.

    • Deanna M.

      Yeah, right.

      • hberg1324

        yeah. he is right

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  • Robert Bennington

    Do NOT tax marijuana!!! Instead issue permits to users that allow them to possess and grow small amounts for their own use. The use of taxation keeps the price artificially high just as does anti-drug laws. By disconnecting the price of the marijuana from the legal right to use marijuana the price for the marijuana effectively becomes zero thereby destroying the value to drug cartels and big business to be involved.
    Also issue permits to any grower who wishes to provide marijuana for sale. The competition will keep the price very low and keep criminals out. By keeping the permit costs reasonable and the penalty for not having a permit high the participation would be kept very high thereby nearly eliminating any black market.
    The revenue from the permits for use and for growers will provide a societal benefit, the low cost of the marijuana removes the incentive for crime, and income taxes and additional employment from the small business growers will provide even more economic benefit.
    All of this from a simple “Get out of jail free card”…..

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  • Deanna M.

    The problem is the fact that most people for this DO NOT have medical problems that warrant use of marijuana. They are just Pot Heads.

    • Jennifer Berry

      There are many people who use marijuana strictly because of the side effect known as being “high”. This feeling of euphoria is caused by the THC produced by the plant. I personally am an advocate of marijuana legalization & feel that the benefits far out way the dangers. People everywhere- including you- have stressors in their every day lives that we, sometimes wish to escape. Some people choose to have a glass of wine

      • Jennifer Berry

        Others choose to go for a long run or take a hot bath. The point is, it’s a person’s choice. Your body belongs to you. It is your vessel for this lifetime. No person should be able to tell you what you can or cannot do w it.