Life is like photography – you can’t develop without the negatives.
While we were hoping to have our proposed ballot’s summary approved last week, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office routinely rejects these on their first submission. It is unfortunate, and we take full responsibility for our omissions. We will do our best to make sure that it does NOT happen again. Our resolve has never been stronger, and the outpouring of support that we have received has been very inspiring!
We will have the petitions, instructions, and helpful tips available after they have been thoroughly examined to make sure that there are no more mistakes. We are anticipating this to happen within the next week, but we can NOT rush this part of the process! So please be patient.
The road ahead just became a lot longer since the wording was rejected. Collecting 385,000+ signatures by the first week of July, 2014, would require over 8,000 signatures per week! Collecting that many at this time would not be realistic for us, and it would be irresponsible for us to claim otherwise. A more realistic goal is to quickly get the 1,000 signatures needed to resubmit for summary approval. Then, since the signatures don’t expire, we would have plenty of time to collect the needed signatures for 2015 or 2016.
What we are planning for now is to get on the November 2016 ballot, for a number of good reasons. Besides 2014 being unrealistic for us, 2015 is an odd year, which notoriously have low voter turnouts. Mostly conservatives vote in odd years, and they do not support our issue, for the most part. We believe that we would have a very difficult time getting full legalization to pass under these circumstances. Even if we have enough signatures by the 2015 deadline, we do NOT want to see all of Ohio’s hard work setup to fail!
2016 is, therefore, the most feasible conclusion. Not only does that give us plenty of time to have our wording approved, get better organized, and collect all of the signatures needed, it will also be a Presidential election year. There should be a good voter turnout, and since cannabis freedom is becoming such a widely accepted idea, I suspect that we are not alone in our excitement for the future!
To be clear, there are 2 medical marijuana initiatives currently petitioning in Ohio which have already had their summaries approved. We strongly encourage you to support their efforts, as well. We have collected signatures for both of them, and hope that either will make it to the ballot box next year! We are asking you to ALSO support full legalization of cannabis for ALL uses in Ohio and our goal to get it on the 2016 ballot!
Please browse our website for more information – the Amendment, as linked on that page, will remain unchanged, except one addition that we will talk about more once it is finalized. We look forward to hearing from all of you very soon!