Ohio takes aim at 2014 with popular initiative

The Leaf Online | November 11, 2013 | by Jane Hash

The Ohio Rights Group, headed by John Pardee, is leading the Buckeye State toward legalizing Therapeutic Cannabis and Industrialized Hemp. This swing-state has until July 3, 2014 to gather 385,247 valid signatures from registered voters to get their Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment (OCRA) on the ballot.

This is based upon the requirement to have 10% of the last governor's election statewide.  Of that, at least 44 counties of the 88 are required to have at least 5% valid signatures based upon the last governor's election.  As of the beginning of September, they had gathered approximately 30,000 signatures.

This grassroots effort has gained the support of several NORML chapters, hundreds of dedicated volunteers, and some rather influential friends including Mimi Peleg and Cheryl Shuman. Both ladies are fierce Cannabis activists who were born and raised in Ohio.

Peleg is now Director of Large Scale Cannabis Training for MECKAR, Abarbanel Hospital, in Israel. In July of this year, she was the keynote speaker at an Ohio Rights Group event in Youngstown, Ohio where she focused on current Cannabis research she is involved with as well as her experience with policy implementation.

Shuman’s area of specialty however, is Public Relations and Marketing. In October, this self-proclaimed “Martha Stewart of Marijuana” made the most of her media savvy skills while doing a ten-day Ohio tour with the Ohio Rights Group to help promote their campaign.

Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment Highlights

  • Accords Ohio residents age 18 and older, who have a debilitating medical condition and meet eligibility requirements, the right to use, possess, acquire and produce Cannabis (marijuana). Children may qualify with the written consent of a parent or guardian. Eligibility will be initially tied to a list of over 30 debilitating medical conditions, which can be expanded.
  • Permits eligible individuals or organizations to grow, process and purchase therapeutic Cannabis in various forms such as whole plant, tinctures, edibles and salves.
  • Allows commercial production, distribution and taxation of both therapeutic Cannabis and industrial hemp.
  • Permits eligible Ohio residents to cultivate hemp for thousands of uses: paper, fuel, foods, building materials, clothing and more. Declassifies hemp as a drug and delegates its regulation to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Jane Hash is a Certified Natural Health Professional who empowers students across the country to make healthy life choices.  She hosts the “Holistic Vitality Education Channel” on YouTube, the “Hash It Out With Jane” podcast available on iTunes, and blogs for The Mobility Resource.