With ResponsibleOhio dead in the water and the state legislature beginning a long study and debate of the issue, it was starting to look like Ohio voters might not see any cannabis legalization this year to vote on.
Enter the Marijuana Policy Project. Over the last 20 years, MPP has helped change laws in dozens of states. They bring experience and financial donors into a state that sorely needed both.
“Ohioans for Medical Marijuana” is the name of the group MPP will be backing, and they have a big hill to climb. While upwards of 90% of Ohio voters support medical marijuana, OMM will need to gather over 300,000 valid signatures to get a measure on the ballot.
Many believe that this new initiative will spur the state legislature into action. That remains to be seen, but I believe the quicker and better route to be through the ballot box. And a lot of attention will be on the state this year, as it will be one of the major swing states in the presidential election. That’s bound to generate some press for the issue of medical marijuana.
Hopefully activists in the state will help MPP craft something they can get on board with — something that is less restrictive than many of the MMJ bills passed recently around the country. A measure that covers many ailments while allowing for home growing and a dispensary system.
There are many people suffering in Ohio. It is a populous state and those who need medical cannabis are treated like criminals just for wanting a better way. Maybe now they have some hope. MPP’s motto is “We change laws”, and indeed they do.
As a bonus, they saw what happened with Issue 3 last year and will have a better understanding of what not to do.