Ohio – update from ResponsibleOhio

CLEVELAND- The movement toward legalizing marijuana in the state of Ohio is taking another turn.

ResponsibleOhio, the group leading the movement, now is proposing that Ohioans be allowed to legally grow pot in their backyards.

Under the proposal, people over the age of 21 would be able to grow up to four plants on their property, provided they get a state permit first. The marijuana would be for personal consumption only, not for sale.

Lydia Bolander, spokesperson for ResponsibleOhio, said, “I think the biggest reason was just understanding the more we talked about our proposal that we hoped we could be silent on the issue of home grow and leave that to the General Assembly, but the more we talked about it with people in the community, with experts, it became clear we really had to address the home grow issue.”

The proposal calls for ten marijuana farms and testing sites around the state. Backers need to get 1,000 people to sign the amended proposal which includes the home grow provision. If the state approves, they will need to gather another 305,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

ResponsibleOhio is confident voters will have the chance to decide the issue in November.

Ohio – CBD oil legalization update

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday introduced legislation legalizing medication derived from a specific strain of marijuana that is used to treat seizures.

House Bill 33 would allow Ohio physicians to prescribe an oil infused with a marijuana strain rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis; and low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound that produces a high. One such strain, nicknamed Charlotte’s Web, has become sought-after by parents to reduce the frequency of intense seizures in their children.

Seizure patients would be able to legally possess and use an extract of the strain and to participate in clinical trials for cannabis.

The legislation makes the plant available to doctors at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Bill sponsor Rep. Wes Retherford, a Hamilton Republican, said the legislation is narrowly targeted to help families battling epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Retherford said his friend travels to another state to get the medication for his young daughter, who is now able to have a conversation, learn the alphabet and go about life without as much interruption from seizures.

“Everything I’ve seen and read about the use of cannabinoid oil for childhood epilepsy is it seems to have a positive effect on families that use it,” Retherford said. “That in and of itself is worthy of having the discussion in Ohio.”

Retherford said he does not favor legalizing marijuana for wider medical or recreational use, in part because the effects have not been widely studied. The bill would allow university and children’s hospitals to research marijuana for medical purposes, positioning Ohio to be a resource for other states weighing legalization.

Democratic Rep. John Rogers of Mentor-on-the-Lake signed on as a joint sponsor. The list of co-sponsors includes members from both sides of the aisle in the GOP-controlled House: Republican Reps. Andy Thompson of Marietta, Terry Boose of Norwalk, Kristina Roegner of Hudson, and Andrew Brenner of Powell; Democratic Reps. Michael Sheehy of Toledo, Heather Bishoff of Blacklick and Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown.

“This isn’t a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal issue,” Retherford said. “This is a issue of a naturally occurring, non-addictive, non-hallucinogenic medication that can possibly make the lives of thousands of children in the state of Ohio better.”

Florida passed similar legislation last year. Ohio would be the 12th state to legalize low THC, high CBD products for medical use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty three states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for wider medical use.

Ohio Update!

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans over 21 could buy marijuana from a legal, licensed store as early as summer of 2016 if an effort to legalize the drug is successful this year.

The group calling itself ResponsibleOhio announced new details of a proposal to legalize the production, sale and medical and personal use of marijuana in Ohio. The group is aiming to legalize the industry through a constitutional amendment before voters in November 2015.

Northeast Ohio Media Group and others previously reported ResponsibleOhio would limit growing of cannabis to 10 regulated sites to be identified in the amendment and five separate sites would test all cannabis for its safety and potency.

Cleveland, Ohio- News update for 2015!

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A campaign to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana in Ohio is quietly taking shape and includes plans to place an amendment to the Ohio Constitution before voters in November 2015, the Northeast Ohio Media Group has learned. The campaign plans to push an amendment, that if approved by voters, would guarantee a ten or so property owners the right to grow marijuana, according to sources who spoke on the condition they not be named.

By embedding in the constitution where marijuana can be produced – and essentially who can profit from its production – organizers are using an approach similar to the one gambling interests used in their 2009 successful campaign to allow casino-style gaming. That amendment, known on the ballot as Issue 3, limited gaming to just four locations in Ohio.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including nearby Michigan.

Supporters of an earlier constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana failed in July when they failed to collect enough signatures of registered Ohio voters to get the issue on last month’s ballot. The Ohio Rights Group, which organized the effort, collected more than 100,000 signatures for the Ohio Cannabis Rights Act. That fell far short of the more than 385,000 signatures need.

John Pardee, president of Ohio Rights Group, said his organization is planning to pursue a medical marijuana amendment. Asked about the new campaign, he said, “I’m against creating a constitutional monopoly.”

About 90 minutes after the Northeast Ohio Media Group broke this story on cleveland.com, a group calling itself ResponsibleOhio released a statement announcing a campaign to legalize marijuana. The group said it plans to place a ballot initiative before voters in 2015. Here is part of that statement. The group is not answering questions at this time.

“Marijuana for medical and personal use should be a choice made by adults 21 and older in this state,” said Lydia Bolander, a spokesperson for the campaign. “We are going to end this failed prohibition.”

Bolander, who works for the political consultant, Precision New Media, also said, “Legalizing marijuana for medical and personal use means increased safety because we will regulate, tax and treat marijuana like alcohol. We will smother the black market and use the taxes generated to help local communities provide vital public services.”

Congress Hands A Mixed Bag to Marijuana Movement

The year-end spending bill gives momentum to the marijuana movement, plus a painful setback

For the marijuana legalization movement, 2014 ends the way it began: with legal changes that showcase the movement’s momentum alongside its problems.

Tucked into the 1,603-page year-end spending bill Congress released Tuesday night were a pair of provisions that affect proponents of cannabis reform. Together they form a metaphor for the politics of legal cannabis—an issue that made major bipartisan strides this year, but whose progress is hampered by a tangle of local, state and federal statutes that have sown confusion and produced contradictory justice.

First the good news for reformers: the proposed budget would prohibit law enforcement officials from using federal funds to prosecute patients or legal dispensaries in the 32 states, plus the District of Columbia, that passed some form of medical-marijuana legalization. The provision was crafted by a bipartisan group of representatives and passed the Republican-controlled House in May for the first time in seven tries. If passed into law, it would mark a milestone for the movement, restricting raids against dispensaries and inoculating patients from being punished for an activity that is legal where they live but in violation of federal law.

“The enactment of this legislation will mark the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana, and has instead taken an approach to respect the many states that have permitted the use of medical marijuana to some degree,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said in a statement to TIME. The California Republican’s work on the issue reflects the strange coalition that has sprung up to support cannabis reform as the GOP’s libertarian wing gains steam and voters’ views evolve.

At the same time, the House chose to overrule Washington, D.C., on the issue. Last month voters in the District chose to liberalize its marijuana laws, passing an initiative that legalized the possession, consumption and cultivation of recreational marijuana. The move, which was supported by about 70% of the capital’s voters, paved the way for D.C. to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington State by establishing a tax-and-regulatory structure for cannabis sales in 2015.


Ohio MMJNews

Below is an excerpt from a full article available here

Reported on the local news by Bill Hormann

Right now, 21-states allow marijuana for patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, Alzheimers, epilepsy and other ailments… and Ohio could be next to take a hit.

Advocates are pushing changes to the state’s constitution allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“You build a dependency on opioids.”

Kevin Spitler used pot medically when the doctor- prescribed drugs didn’t help with his back pain after he suffered an electrical shock.

He told us, “I started using it more and more and found myself using less pharmaceutical drugs and taking the anxiety a lot better.”

Today, he is an unabashed supporter of medical marijuana in Ohio. He runs a hemp store in Toledo with oils and tinctures he claims help patients handle pain without getting high.

“I have had no side effects.”

Patients like Linda also believe in the healing affects of marijuana.

She has titanium rods in her spine after surviving two serious accidents and Linda says marijuana soothed her when morphine couldn’t.

She says her doctors could do nothing else for her. “My tolerance was just so high,” she says. “They just kept giving them to me. They’re not working. I’m having all this pain. Here, take some more of this, try this.”

The federal government says marijuana has no medical value and has a high potential for abuse.

So you would think that medical marijuana supporters would then craft a plan that would include doctors in diagnosing and prescribing pot but the Ohio amendment essentially allows you to self-medicate once you are diagnosed with a delibiltating condition.

But there’s no doctor prescription..

No doctor recommend dosage or limits on usage.

No controls on the potency of the pot.

Kevin Spitler has no problem with the lack of medical oversight. He says, “The actual Ohio amendment leaves out doctors they kind of take doctors out of the drug war; it’s an actual constitutional right for you to possess it, own it, sell it, buy it, cultivate it and so forth like that.”

“This is not just about making it available. There’s a lot of things we have to think about.”

Some anti-drug groups worry kids will get a hold of potent medical marijuana stashes.

In 1972, the THC level, the chemical that gets you high, was just 4-percent in most marijuana.

But today’s growers are cross-breeding far more potent medicinal strains.

One legal dispensary in California is producing medicinal pot with a powerful 17-percent THC level.

Deb Chany with the Sylvania Community Action Team–an anti-drug group– says even partially legalized pot poses a threat. She tells 13abc, “People that want it are going to find the people who have the medical marijuana prescription.”

State Representative Barbara Sears (R-47th) believes professionals should be involved in declaring medical marijuana safe, saying, “I think it needs to be regulated like any other prescription is regulated.”

And the Food and Drug Administration could regulate potency and determine potential side-effects.

87% of voters approve of medical marijuana

365,000 valid signatures gets the measure on the November ballot.

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