COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Ballot Board certified an initiative on Thursday that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.
Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”
The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.
“We plan to mobilize a large group of volunteers, and we’ll be enlisting the help of paid petitioners to meet the state’s sizeable signature requirement in the short amount of time we have,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting the initiative. “A lot of our volunteers are family members of patients or patients themselves, so they’re incredibly motivated. The initiative process isn’t easy, but it pales in comparison to undergoing chemotherapy or witnessing your child have seizures on a daily basis.”
“I’m excited to let voters know about this initiative and why it’s so important to me,” said Amanda Candow, a multiple sclerosis patient in Mentor who plans to volunteer for the campaign. “I’m particularly interested in sharing my story with folks who are still skeptical about medical marijuana. My friends and neighbors already know how much this law would help patients like me.”