Letter from the President of the Ohio Rights Group

My Fellow Ohioans,

Over the next few weeks, the Ohio Rights Group is going to exercise its responsibility to inform the voting public of the choices they will have in the upcoming election with respect to our mission of reforming Ohio’s cannabis laws. Please know that you can register to vote in this election, but you must do so no later than October 6th. We need as many cannabis rights supporters as possible to register to vote. Then, please make sure you and your family cast your ballots and exercise your right to be heard.

Although the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment did not qualify for this year’s ballot, we can still have a major impact in this election. In order to reform our great state, we need to elect candidates who share our values and who will support the Amendment when it ultimately achieves ballot placement.

For some of us, safe access to cannabis is literally a life or death issue. Starting this year, we should all unite on behalf of our wounded veterans, cancer patients and all other afflicted Ohioans and be prepared to vote against our old political inclinations to effect this much needed change. What has voting along party lines gotten us so far? Nothing but continued prohibition. We need to start doing things differently.

Many folks are one-issue voters and we should all make this our one issue we hold most dear. Cannabis rights, however, is not simply a single issue. It’s an issue that touches on so many other important aspects of our lives such as health care choice, jobs, economic development, debt reduction, public safety and criminal justice and injustice, school funding, the environment and healthy foods and alternative fuels.

We can no longer afford to allow politicians to pander to their base on the traditional hot-button issues and ignore the vast majority of Ohioans who desperately need to end cannabis prohibition. Let this year’s election be the sea change election we need to begin the process of ending prohibition.

This process starts with electing mayors, county commissioners, state representatives and congressmen and women, attorney generals and candidates for governor who are forward thinking. Politicians who are stuck in the past must be forced out or forced to change their positions, if they wish to keep the honor of representing our families.

So if you don’t know where your representatives stand, please call their office or campaign headquarters and ask them. Let us know what they say. We will be posting and highlighting important local and statewide races where there is a clear distinction. Please contact us if you have a race you would like for us to highlight, and please share our posts with all of your friends and family who will be casting votes in this election. Social media is the people’s voice. It allows us to bypass the big money interests that bombard us with slick TV and radio ads that misrepresent the facts and shut out this important issue.

Let’s surprise our critics and confound the experts. Nothing would upset the prohibitionist establishment more than to see a dark horse no name with no political machine behind them come out of nowhere and unseat an entrenched incumbent who has ignored the pleas of the sick and dying.

Let’s all agree to ignore party labels this year, forget the typical hot button issues we’ve all debated over the years and unite under the banner of cannabis reform. For you, for your family, for the good of all Ohioans.

United we win, this November and Forever Forward!
John Pardee
President, Ohio Rights Group