This will be the third time in two years, Ohioans have tried bringing this issue to the table but there is hope third times the charm, so to speak.
The Ohio Rights Group is going to be collecting signatures that are needed to put this issue in front of voters and according to Attorney Bob Fitrakis, a member of Ohio Rights Group, and a Columbus State Community College professor, it looks to have much better odds this time.
Several people with multiple sclerosis (MS), including Sierra Blankenship of Lima, finds this information incredibly relevant considering her MS group had just recently wondered if Ohio was going to re-try sometime soon, using a fairly recent study to help it along. “The timing couldn’t be better,” she said. “I will definitely be bringing this up next month.”
The Ohio Rights Group were able to get Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Ballot Board to sign off on the language that will be in the petitions [see highlights below] and it is no easy feat what with all the hoops that had to be jumped through.
A few being:
- An initial written petition signed by 1,000 Ohio qualified electors, must be submitted to the Attorney General with full text and summary of proposed constitutional amendment.
- The total number of signatures on petition must equal at least 10% of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election and be obtained from at least 44 of the 88 counties in Ohio.
- Once the required number of signatures is collected, all petitions must all be filed with the Secretary of State’s office at the same time no later than 125 days prior to the general election at which the proposed constitutional amendment is to be on the ballot with a $25 filing fee paid at time of filing.
Fitrakis had said they had “two divided movements” and are trying to bring them together so they can finally get something done. He brought up how one group was for medical marijuana and how they other not so much, they were more for advocating industrial hemp instead.
The two groups butted heads so much that they ended up canceling each other out. Was it for medical reasons or would it be for the hemp industry and jobs?
Blankenship was talking about this past January’s publishing of medical cannabis and it affording relief for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She also talked of how many of her fellow “MS’ers” do use it to ease their tremors and how news like this will mean a great deal to a great many.
The research was done in a Hadarim nursing home with 19 patients between the ages of 69 and 101 and each and every one of them experienced incredible results. Healthy weight for 17 patients was achieved (whether gaining or losing depending on patient) and reduction in tremors and pain was decreased dramatically.
Zach Klein, working with a team of notable scientists, was able to also show a big decline in use of anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, Parkinson’s treatment and pain relievers, making sure everyone understand the terrible side-effects these drugs have.
John Pardee, President of The Ohio Rights Group had this to say, “Today, the Ohio Ballot Board unanimously approved The Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment as one issue and gave us the green light to collect the signatures we need to put this issue before the people of the state. Thank you one and all who supported our efforts to date. In our climb towards history, we have arrived at base camp. We have the tools we need and a path to the summit. We have a long climb ahead, but we have cleared all of the initial statutory hurdles. Now, our destiny is in our hands. In order to make this a reality, we need your support now more than ever. We need everyone to volunteer and to donate all they can afford to speed these most needed reforms to our ailing citizens and our struggling economy. Let’s get this done Ohio. After all of these years of disappointment, our time has come. But we need all of you pulling together to make this a reality. United We Win! “
Highlights of Third Try ■Legalizes, licenses, and regulates the production and use of marijuana for medical or therapeutic purposes and hemp for industrial purposes ■Mentions glaucoma, HIV, cancer, and Crohn’s disease as medical conditions for which medical marijuana could be used, but allows a new state commission or lawmakers to expand that list ■Creates the nine-member Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to regulate medical use of marijuana ■Gives authority to regulate hemp to the Ohio Department of Agriculture ■Permits taxation of medical marijuana and hemp ■Upholds Ohio’s ban on smoking in public places to include marijuana ■Prohibits driving while impaired by marijuana but prevents the simple presence of metabolites in the driver’s blood or urine from being used as the sole evidence of impairment
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: Tomahawk Drive at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps
* Klein’s research team includes Dr. Dror Avisar of TAU’s Hydrochemistry Laboratory at the Department of Geography and Human Environment; Prof. Naama Friedmann and Rakefet Keider of TAU’s Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education; Dr. Yehuda Baruch of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and director of the Abarbanel Mental Health Center; and Dr. Moshe Geitzen and Inbal Sikorin of Hadarim.
Sources: Toledo Blade, Jim Provance; Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State; American Friends of Tel Aviv University (2013, January 24). Medical cannabis provides dramatic relief for sufferers of chronic ailments, Israeli study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2013/01/130124123453.htm