Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2016
Source: Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Copyright: 2016 Morning Journal
Author: Andrew Cass


The Ohio Ballot Board recently certified Ohioans for Medical 
Marijuana's petition, allowing the group to begin collecting signatures.

The group, backed by the Washington D.C.-based Medical Policy 
Project, needs to collect 305,591 valid signatures from Ohio voters 
by early July in order for the proposed amendment to be added to the 
November ballot.

If passed, the amendment would allow physicians to prescribe medical 
marijuana for people with qualifying conditions such as cancer, AIDS, 
multiple sclerosis, severe pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. 
The group has previously said residents would be allowed to petition 
the state government to add medical conditions to the list.

The amendment also would allow for five types of business licenses. 
An unlimited number of smaller growers is permitted, but "large grow 
licenses" are capped at 15. Large cultivators can grow in an area no 
more than 25,000 square feet. Medium-sized cultivators can grow in an 
area no more than 5,000 feet. Rights to grow on the large-scale sites 
will cost $500,000.

In a news release, the group said they'll be using a group of 
volunteers as well as paid petitioners in order to collect the large 
number of signatures required.

Amanda Candow, a multiple sclerosis patient from Mentor, is planning 
to volunteer for the campaign.

"I'm particularly interested in sharing my story with folks who are 
still skeptical about medical marijuana," she said in a statement. 
"My friends and neighbors already know how much this law would help 
patients like me."

In the aftermath of Issue 3's failure last November, which would have 
legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, both 
the State House and State Senate have had groups look into possible 
medical marijuana legislation.

In a phone conference with reporters in early March, Marijuana Policy 
Project Executive Director Rob Kampia didn't express much interest in 
waiting to see what happens at the state level.

"I think there's all kinds of ways the legislature could end up 
stalling or even passing a medical marijuana law that seems good on 
its face, but doesn't work in practice," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom