Pubdate: Sun, 04 Oct 2015
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Copyright: 2015 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Author: John Pardee
Note: John Pardee of Oberlin is vice president of the Ohio Rights Group.


At this very moment, a child in Lorain may be having a seizure and a 
cancer patient in Amherst is undoubtedly in the fight of her life. A 
veteran in Elyria, in the throes of depression brought on by PTSD, 
may be thinking the unthinkable.

These people are why we need to act this November. Many chronically 
ill Ohioans suffer from diseases that can be effectively treated with 
cannabis, but this medicine is currently illegal in Ohio due to 
marijuana prohibition. For the first time in Ohio's history, we have 
a chance to end this tragically flawed policy. A yes vote on Issue 3 
will end cannabis prohibition and give Ohio's patients a fighting 
chance at a better life.

As the first president of the Ohio Rights Group, the leading patient 
rights group in the state, I've had the honor of meeting so many 
patients and their families, and I've heard hundreds of gut-wrenching stories.

I met a retired grandfather in Lodi who was going to jail because he 
grew his wife's cancer medicine in their backyard and his 
ill-informed neighbor turned him in.

I've comforted a mother who just lost her son to a brain disorder, 
and I heard how she had to troll the streets of Cleveland looking for 
his relief.

I consulted with a desperate daughter in Elyria searching for that 
illegal medicine that could shrink her mom's cervical cancer tumors. 
It pained me deeply to have to point her to a source out of state 
that took many precious weeks to obtain at great personal risk to us 
both. Sadly, the cannabis oil arrived too late to beat her mother's 
cancer. She was grateful for the singular blessing that the oil did 
ease her mother's passing.

I met a beautiful young mother near Mansfield whose baby girl 
couldn't wake up from the constant seizures that were slowly damaging 
her little brain. She asked me to hold her child, and as I did I 
looked upon that sweet little face and prayed that Ohio would change 
soon enough to save this little baby's precious life.

These experiences, and way too many more to recount, changed me 
forever. I vowed early on to do all I could to end this madness and 
now the chance to do just that is only weeks away. I can't understand 
why folks are debating business models while we are losing precious 
lives every day - lives that could be saved if enough Ohioans can 
find it in their hearts to do the right thing.

By voting yes, you could be joining a nationwide movement that is 
saving millions of precious lives. One of those you save may someone 
very dear to you.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom