New details on medical pot 2016 initiative

Posted at 8:18 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 20:18:47-05

New details are emerging on a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to legalize medicinal marijuana in the state of Ohio. 

The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy reform organization, told it’s taking up the battle for medical marijuana in the wake of ResponsibleOhio’s failed Issue 3

“But this initiative is not going to look anything like what Ohioans voted on in 2015,”  said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Denver-based organization. 

Earlier this year, both the Ohio Senate and House announced they would consider the possibility of drafting medical marijuana legislation. 

Two senators even launched a listening tour in three Ohio cities late last month. 

But Tvert said the MPP is not going to wait for Ohio lawmakers to make up their minds. 

“If they want to do it they have a chance, but for the meantime we’re going to be moving forward and prepare for the voter to decide,” he said. 

Tvert said a ballot initiative is currently being drafted and should be completed by the end of the month. After the state has the opportunity to review it, a signature drive will be launched sometime in the spring. 

The details are not set in stone, but Tvert said the legislation will likely mirror the medical marijuana laws already passed in 23 states and the District of Columbia. 

He said Ohio’s law would allow patients with “serious medical conditions” to purchase marijuana from retail outlets and may allow the possibility of growing medical marijuana at home. 

“When it comes to the business that will be producing and selling marijuana, they will be subject to state and local laws and regulations,” Tvert explained. “But when it comes to the patient they will be licensed at the state level.”

Tvert said regulation will likely be addressed in the proposal but could not elaborate on the specifics yet. 

If all goes according to plan, the initiative will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.