Monday, August 8, 2011

Second Group Joins Push to Get Medical Marijuana Issue on Ballot (Updated)

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 10:00 AM

A campaign worker.
  • A campaign worker.

Update III: The Ohio Coalition for Medical Compassion, a grassroots effort in the truest sense of the word, is working on collecting those 1,000 valid signatures still. You can download a petition from their site and get to work, if medical marijuana is your speed. They hope to collect 2,500 in total over the next two weeks, but they clearly need some help — they sport just 431 Twitter followers, which isn't the most precise way of measuring support, but it's not the worst.

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Update II: Of the 2,143 signatures collected by the group behind the medical marijuana amendment proposal, 1,000 needed to be valid to move the process along. No dice. Ohio AG Mike Dewine certified only 534 as valid, leaving the group 466 short.

Via a letter, Dewine said, "Because your submission did not contain the verified signatures of at least one thousand qualified electors, we must reject it. The Attorney General's Office has not made any determination concerning the summary language of the submission. This rejection is based upon the failure to obtain at least one thousand valid signatures."

Back to the streets. Maybe they can offer samples in exchange for signatures?

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Update: The group which launched a concurrent effort with Peter B. Lewis to get a medical marijuana issue on the ballot turned in thousands of signatures in the first step to making that a reality. 2,143 total signatures were submitted to Attorney General Mike DeWine by the Dayton-area group. If 1,000 are valid and the language of the "Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment" passes muster, the group moves on to the next step: collecting at least 385,245 valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

A couple of details via the AP and Dayton Daily News on the marijuana amendment. First, qualified persons would be allowed to have up to 3.5 ounces of pot. Second, the list of medical issues that would allow a user to grab some ganja include: "glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or any disease that produces severe nausea, wasting, persistent muscle spasms or chronic pain." Not a valid excuse: Being bored on a Saturday afternoon while Half Baked is playing on Comedy Central.

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Peter B. Lewis, noted billionaire and ganja enthusiast, isn't alone in his desire to see the voting populace of Ohio decide whether medical marijuana should be legal in the great Buckeye State.

The Columbus Dispatch and the AP report this morning that a second group has joined the fray to get the issue on ballots. A "core group of patients" (cough, cough) is aiming to allow "patients" to buy up to 60 grams of the green stuff and cultivate 12 plants for "personal use."

If the turnout at the Cleveland weed march is any indication, neither group should have any trouble gathering enough signatures to go after an amendment to the Ohio constitution.

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