Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative (2014)

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An Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative is not on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure sought to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in the state.[1] Specifically, the measure would have allowed the use, possession and acquisition of marijuana for medicinal purposes by people ages 18 and older "who have a debilitating medical condition and meet eligibility requirements." The measure was sponsored by the Ohio Rights Group.[2]

Background

Multiple versions of medical marijuana measures have circulated in the state over the years. One ballot initiative was backed by what organizers said was a "core group of patients" advocating for the use of medical marijuana. The 2012 proposal was known as the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012.[3] Under the act, a regulatory system modeled after the Ohio State Liquor Control system would have been established. An Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control would have also been implemented. A doctor's prescription would have been needed to buy the drug, and it would have been taxed.[4] Another, more restrictive amendment, was known as the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment.[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Ohio

Supporters were required to collect at least 385,247 valid signatures by July 2, 2014 in order to land the measure on the November 2014 ballot. However, no signatures were submitted by the prescribed deadline.

Past attempts

The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment was initially rejected by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R), as he stated that the measure's supporters did not collect the required amount of initial signatures to be approved for circulation. 1,000 signatures were needed for that approval, however only 534 signatures were valid.[6]

According to spokeswoman for the group, Theresa Daniello, at the time: “We are very, very confident in our signatures, and we’ve validated them to make sure they are successful."[7]

The Ohio Ballot Board approved the "Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment" during the week of October 25, 2011, giving supporters the go-ahead to collect signatures for ballot access. The measure did not make the ballot, as the secretary of state's office reported only one measure filing signatures by the deadline.[8][9]

On January 25, 2012, the Ohio Ballot Board approved the second amendment, which was the "Ohio Cannibis Act of 2012." According to the board, the amendment consisted of one issue, thus allowing it to move forward with signature collection for ballot access. The measure did not make the ballot for 2012.[10]

Supporters tried yet again to place a measure on the 2013 ballot, this time circulating two separate petitions. However, no signatures were submitted by either campaign by the prescribed due date. Since signatures do not expire in Ohio, both campaigns announced they would continue to collect signatures in an effort to place the initiative on the 2014 ballot.[11][12]

Related measures

See also

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References