Another Setback Removed (Or Not **see update**)

A couple years ago, we stumbled when the Ohio Rights Group usurped all the momentum in the state.  This year, ResponsibleOhio appeared on the scene with millions of corporate dollars and a suspiciously similar name to ours – which is still misdirecting their communications to us.  They have all but dominated efforts in Ohio, and now they, too, have failed.  They surprised us by getting that many signatures in such a short time, but because they used paid petitioners who didn’t care if the signatures were valid or not, less than half of their signatures were valid.  Even with the extra 10 days to collect nearly 30,000 valid signatures, it is unlikely that they will make it to the ballot this year, as we predicted months ago.

** Update: They did get enough signatures to be on this November’s ballot. Whether their amendment passes or not, if we want REAL cannabis freedom, WE have to do it, big government and big business will NEVER put that on the ballot for us. Please help spread the word, the People need to know that there are other options and groups that need their help! Even if RO’s proposal passes this year, ours would trump it next year, but their passage would make our campaign much more difficult due to voters’ loss of interest and sense of urgency, and the multi-million dollar counter-campaign that they would most likely run in order to secure their interests. **

Now that that is done, we are refocusing our effort to get our initiative on the 2016 ballot.  There are talks about hosting all Ohio legalization petitions together each weekend at different locations throughout the state.  We will have our summary approved, and God-willing, we will have enough signatures to get on next year’s ballot!  We have a huge volunteer base now, and this possibility of collaborating with other legalization groups in the state is very inspiring.  We will do everything we can to see that through.

We have made a promise to never give up, and we intend to honor that promise.  Though we may get pushed aside by other groups and ignored by the media for the most part, we are still here.  We are currently not as well funded or organized as other groups, but that is only temporary.  Signing locations for our amendment are scarce at the moment, but that will change, too.  Stay tuned, and we will update again when there is more to report.

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Amendment Changes!

In light of our recent summary rejection by Dewine’s office, we have taken this opportunity to change a couple of things in our proposal. The only changes of real significance are, first, the number of plants one can grow non-commercially, or home growing. It was 99, we have changed that, due to that being the most requested change. It is now 24 per person, for up to 4 people per household. This will still allow everyone to grow as much as they will need, while not encouraging the free-for-all that so many are scared of for some reason. We didn’t want to change it, neither, but if we want to be successful, we must be willing to compromise.

The other important change is prohibiting cities from banning cannabis production and retail facilities without a vote by the People. Any such bans that are already in place, like in Hamilton, will be nullified and need to pass a vote by the People in order to remain in force.

Petitioning has resumed, signing times and locations TBD, but soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to read over the changes, the summary and Amendment have been updated on our website.  We have also updated the FAQ’s page, and added a Science page to help support some of our reasoning.  Though it’s not a complete list, we have provided some of the most credible research to date on the safety and efficacy of cannabis, for both medicinal and recreational uses.


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First, we would like to apologize to anyone who has tried to contact us and not yet gotten a response.  We have had a flood of comments, emails, media requests, and hundreds of volunteer signups – click here if you would like to help us petition.  We have been struggling to keep up, especially since we have been more focused on our summary submission, which happened earlier this week.  It is overwhelming, yet exciting and very inspiring, too!

We just resubmitted our summary this Tuesday, February 17th.  So there is currently no petition to sign until they approve the summary.  You can now read the proposal on the attorney general’s website here.  They will either approve or reject our summary within a few weeks, so we will hear something back from them by the end of the month or early March.  During this time, we are diligently trying to catch up on things, and we have a ton of planning to do for a successful signature drive.  We have some great ideas, but it is now time to start ironing out the details.

Please bear with us.  Our next priorities will be getting in touch with our volunteers and doing either a professional video or video conference to help get everyone on the same page.  We will also begin asking our volunteers who would be interested in being county representatives to help localize our campaign efforts across the state.  Getting information to set up booths at many of the county fairs this summer is a top priority, too.  Site moderation is important, too, but most of what we are seeing are questions that have already been answered, either in our blog, our Amendment page, or our FAQ’s page, so if you are concerned that your questions are still awaiting moderation, please look over the website.  Some updates are needed and some questions may still remain, so if something is overlooked, please be patient, or you can contact us directly, though patience may still be required – between all this work and our paying jobs, we are not always available.

Please note that while we are a little behind on the website, it only reflects the level of supporters that have all contacted us at the same time, and until we get someone we can trust to help with moderating the site, we will be playing catch up, but that situation is only temporary.  What’s most important now is getting everything lined up for the signature drive, and we will make sure to keep you updated on our progress.  Addressing individual concerns, however, has been extremely time consuming, which is why we keep chipping away at it as it keeps growing.  But we will get to them all in good time.

The biggest question, “where can I sign,” has already been addressed, too, but we still keep seeing it.  There is no petition to sign until the summary is approved and we kickoff the main signature drive.  At that time, check back with our website; we will have volunteers, events, and signing locations to announce.

Thank you so much for the support, Ohio!  Together, we WILL bring REAL cannabis freedom to our state!

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How Can I Help? Are You Ready To Submit?

So many People are asking where to sign or how to print a petition and help collect signatures.  Timing is everything, and we are tentatively looking to submit our initial 1,000 signatures February 12th, so most of our volunteers have already mailed their signatures in to us – if you have collected signatures for EOCPA, we need to hear from you ASAP, still waiting to hear back from a couple.

This makes it a little late in this process for anyone to help petitioning efforts, but once the summary is approved later this month, that’s when the full signature drive to get on the ballot will begin – a goal that will require over 300,000 valid signatures.  We will update as soon as we have more…  Stay tuned, we’re about to stir up some real liberty in Ohio!

If you would like to stay updated, follow our Blog or Facebook Page, and if you want to help when the petition drive kicks off later this month, you can sign up on our Volunteers page and we’ll let you know when and where we will need your help.

If we don’t respond to individual requests right away, it’s because of the mass of communications that we are receiving currently.  Getting better organized is our top priority while we wait for summary approval, so please bear with us.  Thank you so much!

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We Are NOT The Group Proposing 10 Growers!

That group, that basically stole our name, is ResponsibleOhio.  We are the Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis, and we are offering equal opportunity for everyone to grow their own cannabis or business, with protections for property, parental, and gun rights, limitations on any taxes or licensing fees that may be imposed, and expungement, which is a vehicle for those with cannabis charges to have them removed, provided the “crime” is something that our initiative makes legal, and gets passed, of course.

Please get it right, we are tired of the DEATH THREATS that we are getting over this.  We don’t want you to threaten or harm anyone, but if you want to let the “10 rich growers” group know how you feel, please direct that to the correct group, which is NOT US!  If you would like to help us pass REAL cannabis freedom in Ohio, please see our Volunteers page.  Thanks.

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Washington DC Voters To Decide On Legalization

Washington D.C. voters will be able to decide whether to make recreational marijuana legal later this year.  Question 71 to legalize it was approved yesterday by the D.C Board of Elections and will be included on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Council Member Jack Evans (D) believes that “it will pass overwhelmingly.”  If that holds true, then it will become legal to:

  1. “possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use;
  2. grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, within the person’s principal residence;
  3. transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older; and
  4. use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis.”

Source: DC Cannabis Campaign

Selling cannabis would still be illegal, and we’re a little concerned about the limits, but this is a huge step in the right direction!

Washington DC petitioners and residents produced over 57,000 signatures to make this happen, and they only needed 22,000.  They chose to do a legislative amendment rather than a constitutional amendment.  They almost always require much less signatures, but, like here in Ohio, legislative amendments usually give the legislature the ability to make any final changes.  Unfortunately, we have very little confidence or trust in our Ohio representatives on this issue, as most have yet to even consider medical use.

Back to DC, though, it seems that the US Congress is poised to block this legislation even if it passes.  If they do, however, it could finally invoke a federal judicial review of prohibition itself – something the Administration chose to avoid in CO & WA, but may prove inevitable in DC.  The federal government’s constitutional authority for prohibition lies in its mandate to “protect the public health and safety.”  It would be their legal responsibility to prove that that is what prohibition does, and in this era of cannabis knowledge, we’d really like to see them try.

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Cannabis is Safer than…

… Anything that has ever caused a death in human history.  That’s right, not even one death has EVER had cannabis officially listed as the primary cause.  This has been studied several times in recent history, most notably in the Schafer Commission’s report to Nixon, which he ignored “with prejudice” (like he did everything else) then signed the Controlled Substances Act in the early 1970′s.  It should be noted that this was around the same time he was illegally bombing Cambodia and trying to cover up the Watergate scandal, which ultimately ended in his resignation.  Getting off point, but he was the President responsible for what are still our current federal drug laws.

So why is the thought of legalizing cannabis, or marijuana, still so taboo (for a growing minority of the population)?  It still has its social stigma, as evidenced by history, and most recently, by “activists” that accept, even fight for, harsh regulations and excessive taxes.  The government told us that cannabis made you violent, then that it made you lazy and too peaceful, and the only lasting prohibitionist mantra is that it is a gateway drug.

Dr. Peter Barss observed 2 deaths in 4 years in Papua New Guinea.  Cannabis is safer than coconuts.

Dr. Peter Barss observed 2 deaths in 4 years in Papua New Guinea. Cannabis is safer than coconuts.

Since cannabis is so safe, beneficial, and simply relaxing and enjoyable, many people prefer it to alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and cigarettes, and use it without ever getting involved with any harder, illegal drugs.  The assumption that it is a gateway drug is nothing more than that, an assumption; there’s simply no statistics to support that theory, especially now that cannabis is so well accepted in half the country.  It’s certainly true that many accounts of first time hard-drug users got it from their cannabis dealer, but the frequency of those accounts is unknown and not verifiable, and is likely increasingly rare in legal cannabis states.

We feel that if we are to worry about dangerous, gateway drugs, then we should have a little more scrutiny directed towards the medicine cabinet, beer cooler, and cigarette racks, though we would never advocate prohibition of anything, as history has shown us that it’s unenforceable.  Cannabis having so many benefits and virtually no verifiable, serious harms should be as legal as lettuce, since it’s even safer than, yes, lettuce.  There should be no need to appease any governmental body unless they can prove actual harms, and to date, they can’t even link it to lung cancer, despite it having many of the same carcinogens found in tobacco smoke.

Please join us in fixing this egregious, racially motivated mistake in history and make this a better place for our progeny.

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Summary Submission Coming Soon

Have you helped us collect signatures and have petition packets to turn in?  If so, we need them ASAP!

Please make sure to fill out the first and last pages per the petitioning instructions on our Amendment Page.

Please Contact Us and let us know that your petitions are on their way and about how many signatures you have, if possible.  We also have our new Volunteers Facebook Group.

We can also arrange a meet / pick up if necessary, or you can feel free to meet us in Columbus when we submit – the more the merrier!

We need to hear from you soon in order to best coordinate this if you have petitions!  Thank you so much for your help and efforts, and we look forward to working more closely together once our summary is approved.

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June 2014 Update – Yellow Springs Street Fair

The deadline for the 2 medical marijuana initiatives currently circulating Ohio is fast approaching.  There are only a couple of weeks left before the deadline to submit enough signatures to secure their place on the November 2014 ballot.  The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment (OATA) and the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment (OCRA) – ANY proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendments currently petitioning for this year’s ballot – need just over 385,000 signatures by July 5th.  We wish them the best of luck and hope that if they succeed, that Ohio will pass medical marijuana in November.

Our initiative, the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA), is still in the early stages of our goal to get on the November 2016 ballot.  We have almost exactly 2 years to get this done  Our first step is to submit 1,000 valid signatures for summary approval, which by our estimation, we should be ready to do very soon.  I have confidence that our summary will be approved this time, then we can start the main signature drive to get the 385,000+ needed to get on the ballot.

Regardless of what happens this year, we will continue to push for full legalization in 2016.  We will continue to notify everyone when we have information that needs sharing.  We don’t post a lot of educational information because we feel that most people know the facts already, such as cannabis’ many medical benefits and virtually no harmful side effects, not to mention the benefits of hemp and harms caused by the drug war.  If your Facebook and email is anything like ours, you get plenty of educational links and updates already, about medical studies and changes in other states and on the Hill.  For that reason, we like to use our site and Facebook page simply to update on what we are doing.

On that note, we will be at the Yellow Springs Street Fair all day this Saturday, June 14th.  If you want to sign, ask any questions, or just come have a good time, the Street Fair is never boring – tons of wonderful people, vendors, and free music!  Your fellow Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis thank you for your support and look forward to meeting / hearing from you.

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April ’14 Update

First we’d like to apologize for not posting anything in a while.  I can assure you that our resolve to get our initiative on the 2016 has not wavered.  The first step is to get our petitions submitted for summary approval with 1,000 valid signatures.  We are nearly there and are looking forward to submitting soon.  We do have an event coming up that should put us over the top.  Look for us at the May Daze Music Festival May 2-4.  Once submitted and approved, we expect to be at more events and have our volunteer information better organized.

Thanks for your continued support.  We are not asking for donations at this time, just your signatures and any help or sharing of information that you can.  Contact us any time with any questions you may have, and be sure to sign up on our Volunteers page if you’d like to be a part of changing history for the better!

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