Ohio could be the next medical cannabis state with two groups working towards a statewide vote on the issue this November
This morning, the Ohio Ballot Board approved the language of 'The Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment Of 2012'. The campaign can officially begin gathering signatures to place the issue of medical marijuana before the voters later this year.
According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, The Ohio Ballot Board, chaired by Secretary of State Jon Husted, agreed the proposed amendment could appear as a single issue in the November 6th general election. Medical cannabis activists may now begin collecting the 385,245 signatures of registered voters necessary to qualify the proposal.
According to their website,
The OMCA2012 is a proposed citizen-initiated amendment to the Ohio Constitution, slated for the ballot in the fall of 2012. We are a nonpartisan group of concerned Ohio citizens who support the right of Ohio's sick, dying and disabled to use cannabis (marijuana) as medicine, by campaigning to place the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment on the statewide ballot and pass it in the fall 2012 election.
If the amendment is passed, "it shall be a legal right for individuals or organizations, deemed eligible by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, to grow, process, distribute, transport, purchase or sell medical Cannabis in its various forms to eligible residents according to rules and regulations as established by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control." The Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control would be a regulatory agency funded by revenue generated by the programs through fees. You can read the full proposal here:(http://www.omca2012.org/ballot).
This is is the second medical cannabis amendment currently approved to gather signatures in Ohio. Patient advocacy group, The Ohio patient Network and their proposal, The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment are backed by NORML and was approved in December. There is some debate between the two groups on the language of the two bills; but, I'm sure medical cannabis patients would be happy with either one at this point.
There is still much work to be done; Per Ohio law, getting an amendment on the ballot is not an easy task. In addition to the nearly 400,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot, signatures must also be collected from at least 44 of Ohio's 88 counties. Each of those counties petitioners must also collect enough signatures to equal five percent of the total vote, cast for the governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, 2010.
Needless to say, volunteers and cash donations are needed for both efforts. For information on how to help visit the 'The Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2012' website at www.omca2012.org. Information about 'The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment' is online at www.ohiommjballot.org/hometop.html. More information about Ohio cannabis activism can be found on our activism link page here.