The state Ballot Board has given its approval for backers of a second medical marijuana initiative to begin collecting signatures, with hopes of qualifying for a future general election ballot.

The board, headed by Secretary of State Jon Husted, agreed Jan. 25 that the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment was one issue, a required step for organizers to circulate petitions. Board members offered no comment on the issue during a short meeting at the Statehouse.

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The amendment would seek voters’ approval for a constitutional amendment allowing residents with “debilitating medical conditions” to produce, possess and use medical marijuana “in amounts sufficient to meet their medical needs and alleviate their suffering.”

Medical conditions covered would include “glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cancer and Crohn’s disease” and “severe or chronic pain or nausea.”

The amendment also would establish a new Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to regulate medical marijuana in the state.

The latter is a difference from the first medical cannabis issue, called the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment, which would specify how much medical marijuana users could possess at any given time and other details.

The commission proposed under the new proposed amendment would set such specifics and alter them over time, as needed, said Theresa Gray, a member of the committee backing the effort.

The goal is not to legalize casual marijuana use, proponents said.

“If they regulate what’s going on in the state, we can definitely reduce that kind of usage,” Gray said, adding later, “I think [we will create] a very, very strong commission of people that will do what’s in the best interests of the state of Ohio … [We] want to make sure that it’s not rampant. We do not want our teen-agers using this mildly.

That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking at taking care of the sick, dying and disabled patients in the state of Ohio with a natural, nonaddictive … medication.”

Neither amendment is guaranteed a spot on the ballot. Proponents must gather more than 385,000 valid signatures to qualify for the general election.

The Jan. 25 vote by the Ballot Board is the latest concerning potential election issues. Abortion opponents earlier were given the green light to collect signatures on the Ohio Personhood Amendment, which would define “person” to include “every human being at every stage of biological development, including fertilization.”

Backers of a Right to Work amendment, which would bar mandatory union membership and dues payments, this week also resubmitted amendment language to the attorney general’s office, with hopes of starting their petition drive in coming weeks.

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News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Columbus, OH
Source: Hudson Hub Times
Author: Marc Kovac
Contact: [email protected]
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