|Photo: Teesha McClam/Dayton Daily News|
|Tonya Davis and other activists are working to get a Constitutional amendment on the Ohio ballot in November 2012 to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Davis said cannabis relieves her symptoms without the problems associated with harsh pharmaceutical narcotics.|
A group favoring the legalization of marijuana for medical uses in Ohio has taken initial steps to place a Constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2012.
Supporters of the “Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment” last week submitted 2,143 signatures on petitions to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine with summary language of the proposed amendment, reports Lynn Hulsey at the Dayton Daily News. DeWine sent the signatures out to local election boards for verification.
The group needs 1,000 valid signatures before DeWine will determine if the amendment summary is a “fair and truthful statement.” It will then be reviewed by the Ohio Ballot Board and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
If the measure clears those hurdles, the group would then need 385,245 valid signatures on petitions to place the amendment on the ballot, according to Matt McClellan, Husted’s press secretary.
Patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3.5 ounces of cannabis, according to the amendment summary.
Of course, it didn’t take long before some requisite representative of law enforcement squawked.
|Photo: Steve Bennish/Dayton Daily News|
|Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, shown here with a pickup load of seized weed: “I’m totally opposed to that amendment. I think it would make too much marijuana available to kids in the community.”|
”I’m totally opposed to that amendment,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. “I think it would make too much marijuana available to kids in the community.” Is this guy for real? A sheriff who doesn’t know marijuana is already available to kids in the community?
In any event, the sheriff claimed medical marijuana “would create traffic problems” because high people could be driving and causing accidents (he failed to cite any supporting evidence from any of the medical marijuana states), and besides, it would be an issue for employers, including him, who want “drug-free employees.”
“I think we have enough prescription drugs out there to handle the (medical) problems,” the clueless sheriff opined. “I’m worried about the use and availability of this marijuana. I think it would be just more problems for us so I’m opposed to it.”
Supporters of the amendment said the bill would prohibit the sharing of medical marijuana with minors, or the operation of a motor vehicle by anyone under the influence of pot, reports WLWT News 5.
An April survey from the Pew Research Center found that 73 percent of Americans favor permitting the sale and use of medical marijuana when it is recommended by a physician.
“We’re hoping the ballot will force our legislators to stand up and do what’s right,” said Tonya Davis, 48, of Kettering.
Davis suffers from a variety of ailments, and she said cannabis brings her relief without the negative consequences of harsh pharmaceutical narcotics. People like her should be allowed to grow, possess or buy marijuana if a medical professional recommends it, Davis said.
“I’ve got more things wrong (with me) than right,” said Davis, who said she has scoliosis, thyroid disease, inflamed bowel disease and other medical problems.
“Medical marijuana would be a lifesaver for me because (with) the stronger pharmaceuticals I can’t function: the spasms, the nausea and all of that,” Davis said.
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, according to the amendment summary, would include glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease or any condition causing symptoms such as chronic pain, severe muscle spasms or wasting syndrome.
A second petition campaign is underway for the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 (OMCA), another amendment that would take another approach toward marijuana in Ohio by having the state regulate it similarly to alcohol, according to the Ohio Patients Network, which supports the medicinal use of cannabis.
A recent study done by Creighton University showed that medical marijuana cash help stimulate appetite for those with eating disorders, control nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, decrease intraocular pressure, relieve neurological and movement disorders and help with many other pain-causing illnesses.