Focus in Ohio Legalization Battle Shifts from Recreational to Medical

Focus in Legalization Battle in Ohio Shifts From Recreational to Medical

Ohioans to End Prohibition, the group behind the Legalize Ohio 2016 effort, is closing up shop on their push to get recreational cannabis legalization on the ballot this year. This is the same group that urged Ohio voters to vote against Issue 3 last year because they would have something better on the ballot in 2016. A lack of money crippled the effort and the “something better” never materialized (as myself and others predicted).

So now the focus in Ohio turns to medical marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project has launched its own ballot effort in the state, and the legislature is beginning the long process of studying the different ways to tackle the issue.

MPP has released a basic outline of what they see the medical marijuana bill shaping up as. Qualified patients would apply to the state to get a medical marijuana ID card that would allow them to buy cannabis from dispensaries and possess it. Businesses would have to apply for licenses to grow, process, test and sell medical cannabis to those qualified patients. According to the website for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana (the MPP-backed group), the initiative would also allow patients to grow at home.

Marijuana Policy Project has the necessary funds to get the 300,000+ valid signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot. Their timeline calls for signature gathering from April to the beginning of July in order to meet the July 6 deadline.

A few things need to be decided before the proposal is finalized, most important of which is exactly what ailments will qualify under the measure. Will it be a restrictive measure that allows only a few ailments or will it be more robust and allow several dozen? Knowing MPP and their history, the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle.