New Approach to a Fair, Sensible and Regulated Cannabis Industry
Legalize Ohio 2016 is a coalition purposed to establish an ethical, comprehensive, common sense cannabis law that offers solutions to current policy and allows maximum health, environmental, and monetary benefits to Ohioans. We are doctors, educators, parents, and professionals; united in the belief that cannabis for personal, medical, and industrial use should no longer be treated as a crime.
Treating Cannabis Use as a Crime
In the past 80 years, the United States has spent over a trillion dollars fighting a costly and unsuccessful drug war. The vestiges of bad policy continue to crowd our prisons with nonviolent drug offenders- many of whom were otherwise law-abiding citizens. The human cost of prohibition is unacceptable and requires a thoughtful solution that not only ends criminal penalties associated with nonviolent cannabis offenses, but also greatly curtails the ability for the black market to operate. The CCA seeks to not only end criminal penalties associated with nonviolent marijuana offenses, but put a stop to the black market by introducing a regulatory framework that gives all Ohioans the right to participate and compete in a free-market industry. It removes the State of Ohio’s laws that prohibit production, processing, and selling of cannabis. In place, cannabis is subject to licensing and regulation by the Division of Marijuana Control. It allows limited possession and home growing of marijuana by persons aged twenty-one and over. The law allows for commercial growing of cannabis, product manufacturing and retail stores with strict regulations.
Marijuana is Medicine
Marijuana use is proven to be effective in the treatment of various conditions, including Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and seizure-related syndromes, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, chronic pain and neurodegenerative illnesses. The Cannabis Control Amendment directs the Ohio Department of Health to establish a research facility, tasked with scientific research of cannabis for medical use. The law makes medical marijuana available to Ohioans with qualifying conditions or symptoms by requiring dispensaries to distribute marijuana to patients at low or potentially no cost. In addition, the amendment allows registered patients to purchase from a dispensary, legally grow their own plants, and/or receive their medicine from a caregiver.
Cannabis Users are not Criminals
Each year, Ohio spends over $200 million a year to enforce failed marijuana laws. This failure has led to ruining lives and wasted government resources better spent on fighting hard narcotics and violent crime. This bad public policy crowds our prisons with nonviolent marijuana users – many of whom were otherwise law-abiding citizens. The Cannabis Control Amendment seeks not only to end criminal penalties associated with nonviolent marijuana offenses, but also put a stop to the black market by introducing a regulatory framework that gives all Ohioans the right to participate and compete in a free-market industry.
Hemp, a cannabis variant with little to no psychotropic potency, has been prohibited for farming by Americans because of its inclusion in the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp policy reform is a cornerstone of our campaign, and a thoughtful hemp policy matters to the hardworking rural families who depend on viable cash crops. We applaud the lifting of some sanctions by the DEA in 2014, albeit there is more to be done to lift restrictions on industrial hemp cultivation. Legalize Ohio 2016’s plan for Ohio’s hemp future goes past lifting sanctions by directing revenue from retail marijuana taxes into the development of resources for prospective hemp farmers. By providing subsidies and tax rebates for hemp-related innovations, our amendment encourages hemp-product manufacturing of things like building materials, fiber, food, and even eco-fuels.