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I just wanted to update you all on where we are at and where we are going.
Where we are at: We've finalized the language and are preparing our filings to the State of Ohio for approval to commence signature gathering. We are also rapidly developing our online presence and we have a small but growing group of talented techies developing our online presence which will be critical for our success. If you are a techie and wish to donate your services, we'd love to have your help, so please reach out and let us know your capabilities. Our media team is also developing so if you have media experience or equipment at your disposal, please let us know. Remember, this is going to be a statewide campaign so we can never have too much talent. We will find a way to use your services.
Where we are going: The fuse is lit Ohio. Soon we will be exploding all over the state with events and volunteer recruitment and will be building an army of signature gatherers, fundraisers, event planners, and social media junkies in each and every county who will take our message and make it go viral. This movement has the undeniable will of the people behind it and we are finally going to get this done in Ohio. But our early efforts are not without it's challenges so as we continue to build, please pardon our dust as this organization is building from the ground up. We need doers and donors, lots of them. Doers: The sooner you can volunteer your time and talents, the faster we get out of the starting blocks. Donors: An operation like this requires capital investments. So if you can spare $5, please send it to:
The Ohio Rights Group
1021 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43205
We will have an online donation button up soon but for now, please send your donations to our physical address. We are a 501(c)(4) non-profit and you may review our incorporation records at the Ohio Secretary of State website.
This is going to happen Ohio, but not if you sit on the sidelines. Think of the sick and suffering who need help now. Think of the unemployed who need good paying jobs now. Think of the imprisoned who are in need of freedom now. Don't be a spectator. We are going to make history, Ohio. Be a part of it. Volunteer or donate today.
Ohio Rights Group
The Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment
Be it resolved by the people of the State of Ohio: That the Constitution of the State of Ohio be amended by adopting a section to be designated as Section 12 of Article XV thereof, to read as follows:
Article XV: Section 12. Medical, therapeutic and industrial use of Cannabis.
Section 1. Rights.
In accordance with Article 1: Bill of Rights, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Ohio:
(A) Residents of the State of Ohio, who have attained the age of majority and who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, shall be eligible residents for the purpose of making therapeutic use of the genus Cannabis, also known as medical marijuana or marihuana, currently defined in Section 3719.01 of the Revised Code, hereinafter referred to as therapeutic, to alleviate their suffering. Residents of the State of Ohio, who are under the age of majority and who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, may be eligible residents with the prior written consent of a parent or guardian.
(B) Eligible residents shall have the right to make therapeutic use of Cannabis to alleviate their suffering and to possess an amount of Cannabis sufficient to meet their therapeutic needs.
(C) Eligible residents shall have the right to be free of discrimination and interference from the State of Ohio with regard to their therapeutic use of Cannabis; medical necessity shall be deemed an affirmative defense in a court of law.
(D) Eligible residents shall have the right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to their therapeutic use of Cannabis, including but not limited to any records kept by the State pertaining to such use.
(E) Eligible residents who make therapeutic use of Cannabis shall have the right to produce their own Cannabis, and to acquire Cannabis sufficient to alleviate their suffering from state-licensed providers without fear of arrest, prosecution or undue interference by the state.
(F) Eligible residents shall have the right to access goods and services to enable their therapeutic use of Cannabis.
(G) Within the State of Ohio, it shall be a legal right for individuals or organizations, deemed eligible by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, to grow, process, distribute, transport, purchase or sell Cannabis for therapeutic use in various forms to eligible residents according to rules and regulations as established by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control.
(H) Residents of the State of Ohio, deemed eligible by the Ohio Department of Agriculture under Section 3(E), shall have the right to produce non-psychoactive Cannabis, also known as hemp, for industrial use including, but not limited to paper, fuel, foods, building materials and clothing. With this right, Cannabis for industrial use is hereby removed from any schedule or classification system in the State of Ohio wherein it is listed as a drug.
(I) These rights shall not be abridged, and the State of Ohio shall support, uphold and defend these rights, notwithstanding Federal Patents, in accordance with the Health and Safety of Ohioans and the ninth and tenth amendments of the constitution of the United States of America.
Section 2. Limitations.
(A) Nothing in this Amendment requires the therapeutic use of Cannabis, or the industrial use of Cannabis; nor does this amendment invalidate existing anti-smoking laws.
(B) Nothing in this Amendment shall prohibit the reasonable regulation and control of the commercial production and distribution of Cannabis for therapeutic use by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control as set forth in Section 3.
(C) Nothing in this Amendment shall prohibit the reasonable regulation and control of the commercial production and distribution of Cannabis for industrial use as delegated by the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to the Ohio Department of Agriculture as set forth in Section 3.
(D) Nothing in this Amendment shall prohibit the sale of Cannabis for therapeutic use or for industrial use to eligible residents; nor prevent research or educational institutions from studying the therapeutic properties of Cannabis; nor prevent research or educational institutions from studying the properties of Cannabis for industrial use; nor prohibit the reasonable application of fines or fees pursuant to the regulation and control of Cannabis within the State in accordance with Section 4. The sale of Cannabis for industrial use is sale of tangible personal property for purposes of the collection of State and local sales taxes.
(E) Debilitating medical conditions include, but are not limited to the following diagnoses: glaucoma; multiple congenital cartilaginous exostosis; multiple sclerosis; nail-patella syndrome; positive status for human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS); Alzheimer’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cancer; celiac disease; Crohn’s disease; hepatitis C; mylomalacia; post traumatic stress; rheumatoid arthritis; sickle cell anemia; injury or disease to the spinal cord, spinal column, or vertebra; Tourette's syndrome; a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe or chronic nausea, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe or persistent muscle spasms; depression; and any additional medical condition or its treatment that may be designated by the Commission or set forth by the General Assembly pursuant to Section 3.
(F) Nothing in this Amendment authorizes any person to engage in, nor prohibits the imposition of civil, criminal or other penalties for undertaking any task under the influence of Cannabis, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice; or to operate, navigate or be in actual physical control of any motorized conveyance while under the influence of Cannabis.
(G) An eligible resident shall not be considered to be under the influence of Cannabis for therapeutic use solely because of the presence of active or inactive metabolites of Cannabis in the eligible resident’s urine, blood, tissue, hair or skin or as detectable by any other measure of body chemistry. The legal definition of impairment as a result of the therapeutic use of Cannabis and the applicable testing to determine such impairment shall be based on scientific evidence of impairment.
Section 3. The Commission.
(A) There is hereby created the Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control, which shall support and uphold the rights enumerated in Section 1; shall serve the public interest; shall license, regulate and control Cannabis for therapeutic use in Ohio; and shall ensure statewide compliance with this Amendment.
(B) The appointments to the Board of the Commission shall total nine members: three members to serve initial four year terms, three members to serve initial three year terms and three members to serve initial two year terms. Two members are to be registered Ohio voters, who shall also be eligible residents for the therapeutic use of Cannabis after regulations to be established by the Commission are in effect; two members are to be Ohio farmers, one of whom shall be a license or permit holder after implementation of a licensing and permitting system by the Commission and one of whom shall be a license or permit holder after implementation of a licensing and permitting system by the Ohio Department of Agriculture under Section 3(E); one member is to be a licensed medical practitioner; one member is to be a licensed mental health professional; one member is to be a full time law enforcement officer in the State of Ohio; one member is to represent the Ohio Department of Agriculture; and one member is to represent the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Each Commissioner shall be a registered Ohio voter and shall be required to publicly disclose all corporate affiliations. No more than four (4) members shall be affiliated with the same political party. Initial appointments of the two registered Ohio voters, the two Ohio farmers, the licensed medical practitioner and the licensed mental health professional shall be selected by the Committee to Represent the Petitioners for this Amendment. Initial appointments of a full time law enforcement officer, the member to represent the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the member to represent the Ohio Civil Rights Commission shall be selected by the governor or, if not appointed within sixty (60) days of an affirmative vote by the electors of the state, by the Committee to Represent the Petitioners. Succeeding terms of the Commission shall be three years in length. No vacancy in the Commission shall impair the right of the remaining Commissioners to exercise all powers of the Commission.
(C) The Board of the Commission shall be duly constituted and conduct its first official meeting within ninety (90) days of an affirmative vote by the electors of the state. Regulations and licensing and permitting systems shall be implemented by the Commission within one hundred and eighty (180) days of an affirmative vote. Meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public and a matter of public record. The Commission shall issue to the General Assembly an annual report concerning its activities during the prior year.
(D) The Commissioners shall have the authority to enact and amend regulations, recommendations or findings as they pertain to Cannabis for therapeutic use in accordance with this Amendment, and to the procedures in the Ohio Administrative Procedure Act. The Commission shall license or authorize other personnel within the state to regulate Cannabis for therapeutic use and Cannabis for industrial use.
(E) The Commission shall delegate the authority to enact and amend regulations, recommendations or findings as they pertain to Cannabis for industrial use in accordance with this Amendment to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Department shall have regulations in effect and the licensing and permitting systems implemented according to the time table in Section 3(C).
(F) The proposed regulations shall support, uphold and defend the Rights enumerated in Section 1 and shall include provisions for the protection from arrest and prosecution of eligible residents, providers, farmers and other entities who provide legal access to Cannabis for therapeutic use and to Cannabis for industrial use.
Section 4. Funding.
(A) Regulatory fees, licensing fees, permit fees and fines for the therapeutic use of Cannabis shall be determined by the Commission. Regulatory fees, licensing fees, permit fees and fines for the industrial use of Cannabis shall be determined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture pursuant to Section 3(E).
(B) All operating expenses of the Commission, of the Department pursuant to Section 3(E), and of their staff shall be funded by the reasonable fees and fines adopted to implement the activities authorized by this Amendment. Regulatory fees, license fees, permit fees and fines shall not be cost prohibitive for eligible residents, farmers or providers.
(C) The General Assembly shall provide adequate funds to cover the costs of implementing the provisions set forth by this Amendment, based on recommendations set forth by the Commissioners in consultation with the Department.
(D) Compensation for board members of the Commission shall not exceed the average compensation received by board members of all other Ohio governmental Commissions.
Section 5. Severability.
Any section of this Amendment being held invalid shall not affect the application of any other section that can be given full effect without the invalid section.
Version: 4.0 – 1/24/13