Medical Marijuana In Ohio Fails To Make 2014 Ballot
Supporters of the effort to get medical marijuana on the statewide ballot will have to wait at least another year as the group fell way short of its petition goal and has run out of time for 2014.
"I'm not disappointed in our volunteers but what has been disappointing is the process for getting our issue on the ballot," said John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group. "You need paid help for an effort like this and what's disappointing is that we can't convince enough donors to contribute to get the necessary resources to put us over the top."
Pardee says the group has around 100,000 petition signatures after two years of effort. In order to make the November ballot they needed to submit more than 385,000 valid signatures by tomorrow.
"We found there are a lot of people who would sign petitions but they fear losing their job," Pardee told 10TV. "Doctors and lawyers and other professionals tell me the same thing. There is stigma attached to the issue. We do find the continuing education is helping but that takes time."
Pardee says besides the ballot effort, there will be a renewed discussion with Republican lawmakers next session.
"There is renewed interest among members of the Republican leadership," said Pardee. "We're making up some ground there."
Pardee would not be more specific on which GOP leaders are hinting they may be supportive.
He also says that the group is targeting a vote for November, 2015.
"We are definitely shooting for next year because our patients can't wait," said Pardee. "Our volunteers have achieved a monumental lift, so many signatures collected in under two years. Other states can't say that."
24 states have now approved varying forms of medical marijuana.