When the Ohio Attorney General recently gave the OK for backers of a measure which would legalize medical marijuana in the state to begin gathering signatures to put it on the ballot, the assumption was it was the 2012 ballot being discussed. But now it appears the amendment to Ohio’s constitution might not go before voters until 2014, if at all.
The group backing the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment will need about 385,000 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot, meaning roughly twice that number to allow for mistakes and invalid names, and they plan to do the entire effort with volunteers, reports Maude L. Campbell at the Cleveland Scene.
So far, only 250 people have volunteered to collect signatures.
“Other ballot efforts that have succeeded [in Ohio]in a volunteer fashion usually had three to four thousand volunteers,” said Alternative Treatment spokesman Ryan Maitland. “Typically it has taken two full summers. We never claimed to have the ability to get it on the ballot in 2012.”
The first order of business, then, for volunteers backing the medical marijuana amendment is not to gather signatures, but to recruit more petitioners to help gather signatures. If you live in Ohio and want to help email [email protected]
“We’re going to be recruiting, training, and organizing first and have a lot of work to do,” Maitland said. He wouldn’t say if the group is seeking funding to help pay for professional petition circulation services, which would speed up the process.
It appears the ballot effort in Ohio won’t have any financial support from the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Because we are so busy in other states, we’re probably not going to be able to do any financial support for the Ohio issues,” said Morgan Fox, spokesman at MPP.