On Wednesday night, the Ohio Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill that’s based on OMM’s ballot initiative. When Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill into law, Ohio will become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana!
Because of this “conversion in Columbus,” we’re suspending the signature drive to place our initiative on the November 8 ballot.
I have the deepest gratitude for the volunteers who collected many thousands of signatures, as well as the patients who publicly shared their heart-wrenching stories. If you ask any state legislators, they’ll tell you they wouldn’t have passed the bill if not for the enormous pressure that Ohio’s activists and patients exerted on a political establishment that feared seeing a marijuana initiative on the ballot.
Here are three nuggets you probably won’t see in the news …
1. This is the fastest that any medical marijuana bill has moved through any legislature. In Illinois and New Hampshire, the Marijuana Policy Project lobbied for nine years before legalizing medical marijuana in both states. But in Ohio, the medical marijuana bill moved all the way through the legislative process in just two months!
2. The new Ohio law will be better than the laws in states like Minnesota and New York, which are also among the 25 medical marijuana states.
3. Our internal polling shows that a solid majority of voters would still pass our ballot initiative on November 8. This means that we have leverage when working with the Ohio government to implement the new law quickly and fairly.
It’s extremely difficult to raise money to reform any kind of marijuana policy in any state. But it’s almost impossible to raise $1,000,000s to pay for signatures and TV ads to improve a law that was just passed.
If you’re one of the good people who either collected signatures, donated money, or told your story to a reporter or a live audience, I want to thank you for your dedication.
Retail stores across Ohio will start selling medical marijuana by 2018.
Ohioans for Medical Marijuana