Medical Marijuana May Go on Ohio Ballot

—– Original Message —–
From: "Tonya Davis" <tonyadavisis@hotmail.com>
To: "Discussion List" <opn@ohiopatient.net>; "nonorml list"
<northohio@norml.net>
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 12:01 AM
Subject: NON: Medical Marijuana May Go on Ohio Ballot

> Medical Marijuana May Go on Ohio Ballot
>
> A statewide issue to legalize medical marijuana is headed for the ballot
> in Michigan next year — and could swing south to Ohio shortly thereafter.
> The nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, which backed an unsuccessful 2002 Ohio
> constitutional amendment to require treatment instead of imprisonment for
> nonviolent drug offenders, is watching Michigan closely, a spokesman said.
> A dozen states already have some form of medical marijuana law on the
> books. "Ohio would be a state worth considering, certainly a high
> priority. It would be a question of timing," said Edward J. Orlett, a
> former Democratic state legislator who represents the Drug Policy Alliance
> in Ohio. Marijuana contains THC, a powerful chemical that can produce a
> sense of euphoria. According to some but not all medical practitioners, it
> also is useful in limiting pain; suppressing nausea and increasing
> appetite in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients; and relaxing symptoms of
> multiple sclerosis. It can be smoked or taken orally. A!
> manda Conn Starner, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and
> Drug Addiction Services, said agency officials think there is "no need to
> change ODADAS’s policy on medicinal marijuana. We continue to monitor
> research on the topic." Any Ohio marijuana vote almost certainly would
> reunite the three high-powered businessmen-activists-philanthropists who
> bankrolled the 2002 ballot issue — George Soros, Peter Lewis and John
> Sperling. The issue was defeated by a 2-1 ratio at the polls. Lewis,
> president of Progressive Corp. of Cleveland, the third-largest insurer in
> the U.S., has given $7 million to the Marijuana Policy Project, a national
> organization that maps out ballot issues and legislative lobbying. He is
> an admitted user of marijuana and hashish. The project recently awarded a
> startup grant to the Ohio Patient Network, a Columbus-based group that
> supports medical marijuana. Dianne Byrum, spokeswoman for the Michigan
> Coalition for Compassionate Care, said the group ne!
> eds to gather more than 500,000 signatures to get the issue on!
> the Nov
> ember 2008 ballot. "It would allow for the medical use of marijuana with a
> doctor’s permission," Byrum said. "This is not a broad use of marijuana.
> It would be under very controlled circumstances." The Michigan Democratic
> Party has endorsed the issue. In addition, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and
> Traverse City passed ordinances instructing law-enforcement officials to
> not make it a "priority" to arrest patients who use medical marijuana,
> even though it remains illegal. Ohio Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown,
> sponsored a bill in the last legislative session to legalize medical
> marijuana. The bill died without a hearing. Now, Hagan is encouraging
> backers to take the issue to the ballot. "I feel very strongly there
> should be alternatives to pain medication," he said. "If people feel in
> the last days of their life, when they are in terrific pain, that they
> need an alternative, the doctor should allow that to happen." Hagan’s
> father, also a state legislator, died of three forms of !
> cancer. Now, Hagan’s elderly mother is suffering from lung cancer. Hagan
> said he assured her that if she wants medical marijuana to ease the pain,
> he will get it. "If I need it," she responded, "I would take it." Opposing
> points of view on this issue can be viewed at Medical Marijuana Reality
> Check – Drug Facts – ONDCP and Drug Policy Alliance: Marijuana. Source:
> Columbas Dispatch (OH)Copyright: 2007 Columbas DispatchContact:
> letters@dispatch.comWebsite: The Columbus Dispatch : dispatch.com
>
> Respectfully
>
> Tonya Davis
>
> Medical Cannabis Director
> North Ohio NORML
>
>
> Director of Patient Advocacy
> Ohio Patient Network
> 937-435-7922
>
> State Director Ohio AAMC
>
> The medical cannabis Action network
> http://mmjactionnetwork.com
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