ORG Press Release - Announcing Support


Ohio Rights Group 


ORG General Number – (614) 300-0529

Mary Jane Borden, ORG President
(614) 599-2485

Savannah Smith, ORG Executive Director
(404) 936-8301


Date:  April 20, 2016

The ORG announces its support of the Marijuana Policy Project ballot drive and is encouraged by action in the Ohio Legislature

(Columbus, OH): The Board of Directors of the Ohio Rights Group has voted unanimously to support the statewide ballot initiative, “Medical Use of Marijuana Amendment,” being fielded by Ohioans for Medical Marijuana (OMM) with the backing of the Marijuana Policy Project, a long standing medical marijuana advocacy group in Washington, D.C.  

Modeled on medical marijuana laws in 23 states and the District of Columbia, the measure would allow seriously ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctors’ approval. Covered medical conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease and Sickle-Cell Anemia, along with traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. More conditions can be added by a Medical Marijuana Control Division, the regulatory agency formed by the amendment. It would regulate five different kinds of facilities that would form the supply chain to provide safe access to cannabis for patients or their caregivers under a cardholder system. Cultivation facilities would have two tiers based on the size of their plant canopies. The proposed amendment would also guarantee protections for patients against arrest, prosecution, forfeiture of assets and termination of child custody.

The statewide signature drive for the amendment will span from April to June of 2016, with the goal of submitting at least 305,591 valid signatures (approximately 550,000 gross signatures) to the Ohio Secretary of State by July 8, 2016. If certified for the ballot by that office, the initiative must pass with simple majority of Ohio voters in the general election on November 8, 2016 to be enacted.

Over the past three years, the Ohio Rights Group has become a leading voice for Ohio’s cannabis patients. The group’s mission, purpose and passion underpin who it is and guides its advocacy. Based on these principles and values, the ORG will work with and support any credible effort that advances the objectives of ending cannabis prohibition, providing safe access to patients and expanding patient rights. The ORG believes that the MPP initiative will meet these objectives and bring much needed therapeutic relief to the seriously ill in Ohio.

The ORG is also encouraged that a medical marijuana bill has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. The ORG applauds Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) for convening the Ohio House Medical Marijuana Taskforce and hopes that the patient testimony heard there will produce a finished product that mirrors, if not betters the MPP initiative and consequently meets the ORG’s objectives.

The Ohio Rights Group is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for the rights of Ohioans to make medical, therapeutic and industrial use of the Cannabis plant and supports the growing number of individuals, organizations and industries facilitating those uses.

A PDF version of this press release can be found here.