Legal as Lettuce!

We have not given up and never will!  We do apologize that this has been a tough winter for us, we are regular people trying to get by, and this is not a paying “job” for us.  In fact, some of us and our volunteers have taken time off of work to help petition before.  Please consider helping us in any way you can.  We have purchased an easier to say (and hopefully remember) domain name / url that redirects to this website –> “Legal as Lettuce” — legalaslettuce.com.  There are some big differences of course, legally speaking, but everyone being able to grow their own lettuce and cannabis would not be one of them!

The End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA) is based off of Jack Herer’s initiative.  We included all of Jack’s protections and added a couple more that were suggested from many sources, then replaced his excise tax proposal with a “sales taxes only” model at the prevailing rate, which shouldn’t be too excessive, as long as the supply is sufficient enough to keep up with demand.  Still yet, Ohio is mostly around 7% depending on tax district, which is less than the 14.25 – 29% taxes for cannabis as reported in CO.  With the cap on license fees for any one commercial retail or production site at $1,250, unlike California’s $50,000+ / year, Ohioans would not have to worry about that additional cost being passed on to the consumer.

There was one issue that Jack said he would’ve changed if given the time in regards to a possible abuse of the expungement clause, a fix that we were able to incorporate quite a while ago.  We feel that we have put together a great amendment / ballot initiative proposal that would give us a truly sustainable and viable cannabis / hemp / marijuana (or “marihuana”) industry without any excessive costs or restrictions.  It would allow commercial and non-commercial production and sales, letting the People have a truly “free market.”  It started with the framework, many ‘Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis’ helped craft it and get it this far, and it will take a lot of us working together to get it on the ballot and passed!

“Legalization is a proven reality in the US; We believe that Ohio is ready for this – In the court of public opinion, We believe that all of US have already won!”

Patients would also have full access to this medicine when EOCPA passes without having to put their name on a list, be forced to buy it while illegal to grow, or pay their doctors and lawyers to prove some medical need for what is quite literally one of the most beneficial, safe, and effective foods and drugs that have ever been discovered.  It is very much about freedom and giving Ohioans a firm legal ground to stand on.  There are many people that accept the idea that alcohol may have some therapeutic value, to some extent at least, because it can help you relax.  At the very least, certainly the same can be said about cannabis!  And everyone knows which is safer.

We would rather not pay high taxes nor risk an increase in green-DUI charges like we have witnessed in CO, neither.  When we think of “treat it like alcohol,” though, considering taxes, it’s hard not to point out that beer is taxed @ $5.58 / barrel here in Ohio.  As far as driving high, Unimed has this to say about their drug, Marinol, which is 95% synthetic THC – “You should not drive, operate machinery, or engage in any hazardous activity until you know how this medication affects you and until you are sure you can perform such tasks safely.”  It does NOT say “never do it, it’s not safe.”

And so we continue on for the 2016 General Election.  Please consider helping us get this initiative on the ballot for Ohioans to decide.  We support the medical marijuana initiatives in Ohio, too, but with any medical marijuana laws, you still have excessive taxes and regulations, and people still go to jail.  We support full freedom and hope you will, too.

We have had a slow winter, but now that the warm festival season is upon us again, keep watch for when we’re in your neck of the woods for your chance to sign!

Thank You!

 

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Legalization Campaign Kicks Off In Ohio, Again

Our proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment, the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act, has been revised to fix the summary problems from before.  We have begun to collect the initial 1,000 valid signatures to submit the new summary for approval.  We have also added an affirmative medical defense.  Medical research, education, and access to legal cannabis for all who need it are extremely valid points and necessary legal changes that would be made by our initiative.

The plant’s medical benefits can not be denied, but neither should our freedom, especially for such a benign and beneficial plant.  That is why we have always advocated for the right to grow your own, buy it from your neighbor, or buy it from the store, make any list of products that the plant can be used for, or study it for any known or unknown medical or industrial applications.

Adding this affirmative defense allows for medical access to juveniles that would otherwise have no access.  It will make the cannabis plant truly legal for ALL uses in Ohio!  And by doing it this way, there are no additional doctor protections, licensing requirements, excessive restrictions, or high costs associated, as is the case with some medical marijuana initiatives.

We will be working on videos and setting up online meetings when we are able.  Most questions have been answered on our FAQ’s page, and the Amendment page has the summary and our proposed initiative available for everyone to read.  If you have any additional questions, you can always comment anywhere on the website or Facebook page, or by any other means listed on our Contacts page.

I just know this is going to be a quick run to 1,000 this time, and I am so happy and inspired by the amount of support we have seen!  So many of you have answered the call to help change the course of history!  The end of federal prohibition may soon be near, and we’re going to need help ending it here in Ohio, too!  If you’d like to help, please see our Volunteers page.

Also, we will be at the Yellow Springs Street Fair next weekend on Saturday, October 12th, to kickoff our campaign.  Stop out to sign, help petition, or just to have a great time!  We will either be in front of the Spirited Goat Coffee House or walking the crowd.  We will be hard to miss, but if you can’t find us, email or call us any time, details on our Contact page.

Thanks, and I look forward to working with every Responsible Ohioan for Cannabis!

Don McAdams

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Re-Hashing Our Full Legalization Initiative!

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!

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Webinar Tomorrow

The technical difficulties we experienced with the webinar today were crippling.  Framing the webinar did not work, so we will have to share the new screenleap link again after we begin tomorrow, at 2pm.  I will post that link to the website and our Facebook page after the show starts.

Also, you will not be able to hear me unless you call in!  Not knowing this bit of information is what monkey-wrenched the operation today.  If you do not have good cell phone service, or the number is long distance for you, try using an online VOIP service like Skype or Gmail.  If anyone needs any help on that, I will be offline tonight, so Google it, and I will try to help before the webinar tomorrow.  Please contact me before the webinar for any assistance (Contact page on our website, Facebook page, my personal Facebook profile, etc.).

We will be looking into other webinar options throughout next week and may decide to have a couple every weekend, but for tomorrow, we will try this method again.  I am also going to create a video(s) to cover all the important information that our Volunteers will need.  So don’t worry, we will not leave you hangin’ with unanswered questions.

Hopefully I’ll hear from all of you after 2pm tomorrow!

Thanks again,
Don McAdams

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Volunteer Sign Up and Webinar

The volunteer signup part of our website is finished and can be found here!  The following information will be sent to you if you sign up to help us collect signatures, but we’re not limiting the online meetings / webinars to just volunteers.  We welcome everyone to at lease tune in, as we will be covering a lot of ground and answering a lot of questions…

Starting this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 10th and 11th, 2013, we will host online meetings 2-4pm EST via “screenleap.”  It is free with no software to install!  All you will need to do is go to a web page to watch from any browser or device, then call in to hear and / or join the conversation.  Any phone carrier charges will apply, but there is no additional cost to join the meeting.

I will see how well the screen capture software works so I can make a video of the meeting afterwards, but this will be our first run, so no guarantees.  If we find that we only need about an hour, we may break it up into 2 one hour meetings.  We’ll play that by ear.  If you miss the email & post with the meeting link and we couldn’t record it, don’t worry, we will be doing this again!

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Where Can I Sign / Help?

Since the news broke yesterday that we submitted 2,304 signatures to get our ballot wording approved, we have been flooded with this question.   While we await that approval, we can not collect signatures!  Once the wording is approved, however, petitioning will resume (should be within a few weeks).

We have volunteers ready to resume signature gathering ASAP all over the state, including Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Athens, and others.  They will need help, and we will literally “need all the help we can get.”  It’s not just a cliché any more!  If you want to help us collect signatures, please stay tuned as we work out the details of how we want to proceed!

In the meantime, if you’d like to simply read our 5-page proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment, the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA), you can find it and other helpful information on our Amendment Page.  We will post more information when available.  If there are any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  We will reply as soon as we are able…

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Full Legalization Effort Begins in Ohio

The Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis have collected enough signatures to submit our proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment to Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine’s office for wording approval. We will be available in front of the statehouse at 30 E. Broad St. in Columbus at 3 p.m. August 2nd for any questions, and will go up to the Constitutional Offices on the 16th floor to submit our petitions directly thereafter.

There are currently two medical marijuana petitions circulating Ohio, one just for medical marijuana and the other includes hemp. The Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis’ proposed initiative, the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act, is not a medical marijuana initiative. It would allow for hemp production and the adult recreational use of marijuana, so children would not have access to marijuana in Ohio.

Colorado and Washington are the only two states thus far to legalize the adult recreational use of marijuana. A total of nine states currently have legislation to allow for hemp production – a very useful, industrial plant that is a cousin of marijuana and has no intoxicating effects. To date, none of these states have yet implemented the necessary legislation to regulate the commercial production or retail of recreational marijuana nor hemp. Similar regulations are tasked to Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Commerce by our initiative, but non-commercial production would become legal immediately upon passage.

We believe that the free market will command low prices. Ohio sales taxes and licensing fees (capped at $1,250 annually for any one commercial site) would bring a much needed boost to Ohio’s economy. We would also save millions of dollars by eliminating the high costs of prosecuting and incarcerating Ohioans for a drug that most of the country, and many studies, say is safer than alcohol.

Join us to hear more about the initiative, especially if you’d like to help us make this a reality for Ohio!  More information is available on our FAQ’s and Amendment pages.

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Petition Submission Later This Month!

We now have enough signatures to submit our ballot wording for approval!

Important:  If anyone has collected signatures for us that we don’t know about, NOW is the time to let us know who you are and get the petitions turned in to us!!

Cleveland NORML, Ohio NORML, and a couple of our volunteers from around the state are getting their petition packets to us directly.  While we are waiting to get all of our petitions together, we do have an upcoming event or two where Central Ohio NORML will be hosting our petitions.  The first is the Peace Through Music Festival in Bellefontaine, Ohio on July 12th & 13th.  Details can be found on their website.  Any other events have yet to be determined, but we will be submitting by the end of this month!  Stay tuned for updates by signing up for our Newsletter or RSS Feed in the left column of our website.

Now we’d like to respond to a question posed to us by many people at a couple of recent events.  The question has been asked several different ways, but it all deals with the confusion related to the several initiatives that are currently being circulated by different groups.  Below is a list of the three that we are aware of:

1)  The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment (OATA):  This initiative would legalize the medical use of marijuana.  It’s wording has been approved by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and they are now collecting signatures for the full signature drive to get it on the ballot for Ohioans to vote on.  More information and the initiative’s wording can be found on their website.

2)  The Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment (OCRA):  This initiative by the Ohio Rights Group would legalize the medical use of marijuana and the industrial use of hemp.  It’s wording has also been approved by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and they are now collecting signatures for the full signature drive to get it on the ballot for Ohioans to vote on.  More information and the initiative’s wording can be found on their website.

3)  The End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA):  This is our initiative, which would legalize the cannabis plant for ALL uses in Ohio!  Medical research and education are specified, and medical access would fall under the legalization of adult recreational use!  Hemp would be legalized by our initiative, too.  Both commercial and non-commercial production and sales of all cannabis products would be permitted.  We are, as stated, submitting our ballot wording for approval later this month!  If you would like to read our wording or volunteer to help us collect signatures, please see our Amendment page.  Please note:  If you want to help get signatures, we will need them in our hands to submit within the next 3 weeks.  If this isn’t a feasible amount of time for you to help us petition right now, then we suggest that you contact us to let us know of your interest to help before printing any petitions so that we can discuss an effective way for you to help us at this time.

We support all avenues and hope that you do, too!  1) medical marijuana (OATA), 2) medical marijuana & hemp (OCRA), and 3) legalizing the cannabis plant for ALL uses in Ohio (EOCPA)!  Please sign them all and remember not to knowingly sign either initiative more than once!

Thanks for all of your support, and we look forward to hopefully receiving and giving the cannabis community in Ohio some great news in the coming months!!

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A Few Events, Then We Submit Our Petitions!

It has been very slow for us since we started this Ohio Constitutional Amendment process.  We had stacks of signatures that were on wrongfully-printed petition packets, so we had to scrap them then start over.  Then, months later after we had gathered more stacks of signatures, one of our committee members moved out of state, so we had to scrap them and start over again!

Now everything is finally in good order, and short of losing a couple hundred signatures due to an eager signer spilling his alcohol on several packets, we are nearly ready to submit.  Yes, we’ve said that before, but short of another crisis happening, we mean it this time.

We have 3 events coming up where we will be petitioning, then we will finally be ready to submit our wording with the required initial 1,000 signatures.  The first event will be the Yellow Springs Street Fair on June 8th.  We will be petitioning from around 11am or noon until later that night.

The second event will be the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival at Goodale Park in Columbus.  Though it is Friday and Saturday, we will only be there Saturday June 22nd, but we will be there all day.

The third event is also at Goodale Park on the following weekend.  ComFest is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and at this time, we are only looking at attending on Saturday, June 29th.  That date is a definite, if we decide to make it Friday or Sunday, we will surely update that on this site.

Hope to see you all there!  Anyone who would like to meet-up and help us petition, please let us know.  You can use our Contact Us page to get ahold of us however you prefer.  After these events, we will need to get everyone’s signatures together for a tally and submission.  Anyone who has signatures to submit to us, please be aware that we will need them by the end of next month.  If mailing or delivering them to us is not an option for you, let us know where we can meet you to get them, or meet us in Columbus when we personally submit them to the Attorney General’s office in late June / early July.

After all the setbacks, we’re finally in a position to move forward again.  Please help us end prohibition in Ohio, to give farmers a viable crop, to help curb the number of non-violent criminals in prison, and to help Ohio’s economy and the betterment of the State and its People in general.

Thank You,

Don McAdams

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Spring 2013!

A new warm season is upon us!  That means more events and petitioning.  We are nearly ready to submit our ballot wording with signatures to be approved!  There are a couple of events this month that should put us over the top.

The first is tonight at the Slightly Stoopid concert in Cleveland.  Our newest volunteer, April, will be there with petitions at the NORML booth.  The show starts at 7pm at the House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave.  It is sold out (we called), but if you are already going and you are a registered voter in Ohio, please be sure to sign our petition while you’re there!

Details on other events will be available soon – please stay tuned.  If you would like to help us collect signatures, either by yourself or with us / others, don’t be afraid to do so.  There are people of all ages, backgrounds, political beliefs, occupations, etc. whom may or may not have ever tried cannabis that agree it is time for a more sensible approach – especially towards hemp, which is an industrial giant that has no intoxicating effects!  All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank You!

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