A little over two years ago, I stood in Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati with a few hundred others, filming speeches from many in the cannabis activism community as they spoke out in support of the Ohio Rights Group and its attempt to get medical marijuana legalization on the statewide ballot. At the time, they were the only group in the state really making any headway when it came to marijuana law reform.
What a difference two years can make. The ORG is still gathering signatures, but is a long way from getting enough to make the ballot. But a new player is on the scene, the now infamous ResponsibleOhio. Their Issue 3 will be voted on in early November; if passed, it will legalize both recreational and medical marijuana in the state. Their commercials and ads blanket the state and their poll numbers are on the rise.
The ORG — once an outspoken enemy of ResponsibleOhio — is now endorsing Issue 3. The group decided that fighting against a measure that would bring the relief they have sought to medical marijuana patients across the state was just not something they could do. They realize that Issue 3 is the only real chance for patients to become legal in the state anytime soon.
ORG also says they have agreements with four of the 10 growing sites created under Issue 3 to set up cannabis grows under a lease, something allowed for in the language of the measure.
Some activists are still fighting Issue 3, and they plan on voting with other prohibitionists to keep marijuana illegality in place. The folks at ORG decided they couldn’t look an Ohio patient in the face and tell them they have to wait for a more perfect plan, one that allows people to grow cannabis for sale. They think patients are more important than marijuana growers.
What a concept.