Ohio’s second proposed medical-marijuana statewide ballot issue took a step forward yesterday when it was certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment to the Ohio Constitution contains a “fair and truthful” summary and has the necessary 1,000 signatures of Ohio registered voters, DeWine determined.
The issue next heads to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will determine whether it should appear on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot as a single issue or multiple issues. Secretary of State Jon Husted set a board meeting for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. If the board approves, supporters will be allowed to begin collecting the 385,245 valid signatures of registered voters necessary to qualify for the ballot.
In October, the Ballot Board approved a similar medical-marijuana ballot issue, the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment. Supporters are gathering signatures for that issue.
Either issue, if passed, would allow Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions to buy, possess and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The Medical Cannabis Amendment, certified yesterday, is backed primarily by a group made up of patients seeking pain relief for medical conditions.
The proposed language says Ohioans have “inalienable rights” under the Ohio Constitution, including the right to “be eligible to use cannabis as medicine as a result of a diagnosed debilitating medical condition.” The issue would establish an Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to regulate medical cannabis in Ohio.
The group’s initial proposal was rejected by DeWine last year because it did not fairly summarize the proposal.
The other issue, the Alternative Treatment Amendment, would allow qualified medical practitioners to prescribe marijuana for patients at least 18 years old with a qualifying medical condition. Patients could obtain up to 3.5 ounces of marijuana at a time and could cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants.
Both proposals are aimed at sufferers with specified medical conditions: cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV and AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle-cell anemia, glaucoma and others.
Backers of the competing amendments have been unable to agree to work together and decided to move ahead independently.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have some form of medical-marijuana law.
Information about the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2012 is available at: http://www.omca2012.org
Information about the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment is at: http://www.ohiommjballot.org/hometop.html
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Author: Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Copyright: 2012 The Columbus Dispatch