I’m sure most of us still remember the failed attempt for Ohio to create a marijuana program last year. There were quite a few downfalls in that campaign, from the monopolization that would have happened in the industry to the fact that they jumped the gun trying to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana at the same time, it was practically doomed from the start.
This time there is a much better approach being taken in the initiative – no longer leaving the profits in the hands of a few large corporations and no longer pushing for something the state isn’t ready for. The new initiative allows medical marijuana use by people suffering from a large number of debilitating conditions and designs a program that will hopefully thrive, if passed.
The ballot initiative has already be submitted once, but it was rejected because the summary did not properly reflect the entire language of the petition. They have now re-submitted their initiative with a total of 2,800 signatures – of which only 1,000 need to be valid in order for them to move on to collecting the roughly 305,000 needed by July in order to be on the 2016 ballot.
“We’re confident that we have addressed the sections of the initiative summary that the attorney general deemed deficient,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting the initiative. “We also expanded the list of medical conditions that will qualify for the program based on feedback we received from patients and medical professionals.”
“There’s a mountain of evidence demonstrating medical marijuana can be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of debilitating conditions,” Tvert said. “Our goal is to make sure any seriously ill person who could benefit from medical marijuana will be able to access it safely and legally if their doctor recommends it.”
The conditions covered by the initiative include autism with aggressive or self-injurious behaviors, sickle cell anemia, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or post-concussion syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease.
Ohio will also be the first state to allow medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (also known as CTE), which is often diagnosed in football players as well as athletes in other contact sports that result in multiple head injuries. It’s a step forward each and every time a state approves a new condition for medical marijuana – opening up the door to more and more conditions that can be managed or treated with the use of cannabis.
From here, it will take 10 days for the signatures to be validated and then another 10 days for the Ohio Ballot Board to decide if the wording is acceptable. Then, the group has the massive task of collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures before July, but if they are this confident I doubt that will be much of a problem in the long run.