Q:  What is cannabis?

A:  Cannabis refers to any plant of the genus Cannabis, of which the most popular species are Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa.  Common names are marijuana and hemp.

Q:  Why do you want to make it legal?

A:  There are many people who produce, use, sell, and buy cannabis all over the world.  Although we are taught that it is a dangerous drug, many government studies have suggested otherwise.  Marijuana has never been listed as the primary cause of death in recorded history, unlike alcohol, cigarettes, skydiving, water, peanuts, and many pharmaceutical drugs.

Making it legal for adult use would lighten the burden of the courts, jails, and prisons for those in Ohio that safely use cannabis and are otherwise upstanding citizens.  This would also enable Ohio law enforcement officers to focus their attention on more violent crimes.

Finally, legalizing commercial production of cannabis would create a huge market for Ohio.  Marijuana, raw hemp, and manufacturing of many hemp products would boost the local economies and give farmers a new, economically viable crop that also helps revitalize the soil.

Q:  What about people who drive or operate heavy machinery while using marijuana?

A:  We are deeply concerned about the safety of everyone on the roads and at their jobs.  When someone has been drinking and driving / working, field sobriety tests are the first step to determine intoxication.  If the results are not conclusive, they may be given a breathalyzer test.

Cannabis, however, may stay in the system for weeks after the intoxication has long passed, making it virtually impossible to determine intoxication based solely on the presence of cannabis metabolites in a person’s urine or blood.  For this reason, we feel that the only viable way to determine current intoxication is by a field sobriety test.

If a person is driving or working under the influence, there are other clues to look for.  We feel that once cannabis becomes legal in Ohio, law enforcement and employers will still be able to effectively do their jobs of ensuring safety without drug testing for some arbitrary amount of cannabis metabolites that wouldn’t prove intoxication, anyways.

Finally, if we look at Marinol, which is synthetic THC (the intoxicant in marijuana), they say that “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.”  Since it is 95% THC and cannabis has at most about 30%, we fail to see why it can’t be treated the same way.

We are not advocating for driving high, but the science shows that “stoned” drivers are no more prone to accidents than sober drivers.  This fear-driven idea that they must be tested is just not based on science and only serves to persecute people without justification.  Cannabis policy should be based on science and facts, not old-world reefer-madness propaganda.

Q:  Who would be allowed to grow cannabis?

A:  Any adult would be able to grow up to 24 cannabis plants, provided they own the property or have permission of the property owner where the cannabis would be grown.  They would not need a license to produce or sell cannabis until they have sold an amount equal to the standard federal tax deduction for a single taxpayer in a given tax year, which this year is $6,200, and then, the license fees would not be automatic.  The legislature must draft the commercial licensing requirements or they will not apply. Also, the licensing fees that they may impose will have a cap of $1,250 per year in combined total for each cultivation or retail site.  Commercial growers would have no limit on the number of plants they would be allowed to grow.

For those concerned that this is too much, we would ask that you show us real world harms caused by cannabis (aside from prohibition), because as hard as we looked, we can’t seem to find any of real significance that haven’t been debunked.  This is not to say that it has no harms, but in comparison to virtually everything else, cannabis is clearly a safer than alcohol, pills, even some foods as no one has ever died from a cannabis allergy (I’m not sure if I’ve ever even heard of such an allergy).  Cannabis has never harmed society as much as prohibition has.  One need only look at NY City, which has less bars than it had “speakeasies” during alcohol prohibition.  I think we can all agree that ending alcohol prohibition was the best course of action, despite its real-world harms on individuals and society.  Ending cannabis prohibition, which has medical benefits and minimal, if any, real harms, is the best course of action today, because just like alcohol, prohibition has proven that you can’t arrest your way out of a drug problem.

Back to the original question, if the property owner doesn’t want people growing at all, or only a few plants, they can stipulate that in the rental / lease agreement and it would be legally binding.  Certainly most, if not all apartment complexes will say “no growing.”  Some of our supporters will be upset with this, but property rights are just as important as any other, and having properties seized by the feds because of a tenant is a situation we dare not force anyone into.

The idea of letting everyone grow their own is intended to be interpreted as “grow as you please, but if you want to grow it to sell, you’re going to have to get your corporate license in order to do so legally.”

Q:  I have a marijuana conviction on my record that prevents me from getting financial aid, a good job, and/or my driver’s license.  Would it be fair to me to keep this on my record if cannabis were to become legal?

A:  No, it wouldn’t.  That’s why we have included the ability to have all cannabis charges dismissed and expunged from your permanent record, if they involved cannabis activities that our Amendment would make legal.  This includes release from jail, prison, parole, and probation if the person is only in that position JUST because of “marihuana” charges – any sentencing for concurrent charges NOT associated with cannabis would be unaffected.

Q:  What about taxing cannabis?

A:  We have had suggestions to allow no taxes, and we have had suggestions to allow excessive excise or “sin” taxes.  Our initiative is not for “tax-free medicine” nor a dangerous, “sinful” substance that would harm society, so we decided to meet in the middle and allow sales taxes to be collected at the prevailing tax rate, similar to many other commodities in Ohio.

We feel that this is less restrictive than what has been proposed and enacted in other states, and that it may discourage the legislature from passing their own Ohio Constitutional Amendment to allow some taxation, had we not.  If we allowed no taxes, that would have given the legislature an excuse to tamper with our Amendment, and they would likely make other unwanted changes if given that opportunity.  We would have preferred to not include any taxes, but this was a compromise in an effort to avoid legislative tampering, and we think that it’s acceptable.

Currently, the tax rates in Ohio vary between 6.25% and 7.75%, depending on which county you are in.  Our hope is that once we legalize cannabis, Ohio will produce enough that the supply will meet the demand, creating market norms of $250 / oz or less.

Some examples of current sales taxes below:

A $100 purchase becomes $106.25 – $107.75 after taxes.
A $250 purchase becomes $265.63 – $269.38 after taxes.
A $500 purchase becomes $531.25 – $538.75 after taxes.

Q:  I hear that cannabis may be dangerous and can be harmful to individuals and society, in general.  Why do you ignore these possible dangers

A:  Simply put, stating that cannabis “may” be dangerous is not good enough to warrant prohibition.  People’s lives have been ruined because it “may” be dangerous, and the harms of prohibition greatly outweigh any alleged harms from cannabis.  We have a new research page where we have provided links to some of the most credible research relevant to cannabis, as an effective medicine and as a safer alternative to other well-accepted substances.

Q:  Sounds great!  How can I help?

A:  Please join us!  We are not asking for donations.  What we really need are volunteers to collect signatures.  If you would like to help, it is important that you follow ALL of the instructions on our Amendment page and that we know which county you are in and how to contact you.  We’ll respond to any questions posed anywhere on the site, email, Facebook page, Facebook Volunteers group, snail mail, or phone call, though recently we have been overwhelmed, so if we don’t get to your individual concerns in a timely manner, please look over our blog for your answers and be patient – we will get to you.

Thank You!

11 Responses to FAQ’s

  1. I agree 100%, hopefully more people view this,’liked’.

  2. to think that marijuana can cure allot of illnesses, its a shame that there are still allot of people unaware of its benefits.

  3. John Floyd Holst says:

    You seem to be restricting commercial growing to your 10 backers.Are they Ohio residents, and shouldn’t Ohio residents get first choice over out of state backers.

    • Don says:

      Whoever is proposing the 10 growers plan is not us, we are not affiliated with them or even know who they are at this point, other than the fact that they are apparently calling themselves Responsible Ohio. Since we are the Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis, it is extremely suspicious that they have chosen such a similar name. This is the FAQ’s page, it says above

      “Q: Would anyone be able to grow cannabis, or just farmers?

      A: Any adult would be able to grow up to 24 cannabis plants…”

      If you would like to familiarize yourself with our proposed initiative, click where it says Amendment. We highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about real cannabis freedom for everyone.

  4. Andrew says:

    How many signatures are there at this point? Can’t find that. Sounds like you have had to resubmit the summary once or twice. have you gotten the latest version of the summary approved by the attorney general?

    have you considered going 21 years old instead of 18? Seems like more risk than reward. 18 year old’s could get permission from parents to smoke like alcohol.

    Also, why 99 plants? Media will kill that and make a joke of this otherwise great amendment. I think 40 would suffice. Just my thought.

    • Don says:

      We have 1,500 +/- and just set up a prime signing location at UC. We are looking at the first week of February to submit our summary, and once approved, we have some other big news in store!

      We did consider 21, but decided that until they can prove any real harms from cannabis, short or long term, that there’s just no valid justification for it. That’s the same reason our whole proposal is so liberal. 99 plants, because 100 is a minimum mandatory 5 year sentence according to federal law. Also, if you look at the fact that any grower would have to have the landlord’s permission, if a rental property wants to allow any growing, they can specify in the lease a lower #. If it’s a condition of the lease and the renter signs, it becomes legally binding. Not everyone is going to be growing that much, and even if they did, who does that hurt? Are we free or aren’t we?

  5. Kedilee says:

    I suffer from a genetic mutation (familial Mediterranean fever) the pain is horrid during the flares and weed is the ONLY thing that helps me. Prior to being sick I did not agree with legalization, and did NOT use cannibas, but since this illness has finally been diagnosed and I see how it helps me and hat I no longer need narcotics and sleeping pills and only use it when I’m ill. I’m a BIG supporter!!

  6. Krymsun says:

    Why does most everyone jump to the automatic, knee-jerk, and FALSE assumption that cannabis impairs drivers much the same as does alcohol? Why let uninformed opinions be the basis of new laws? It took me very little time to do a search, and find actual scientific studies which indicate just how incorrect such an assumption is. Examples follow.

    Studies Show Marijuana Consumption Not Associated With Dangerous Driving, May Lead to Safer Drivers
    Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Many people find that it makes them a safer, more focused driver; one that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident. To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results.

    Marijuana and Driving: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
    “Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. Below is a summary of some of the existing data.”

    The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers
    “There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”
    REFERENCE: Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    Report No. DOT HS 808 065, K. Terhune. 1992.

    Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance
    “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution. .. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
    REFERENCE: University of Adelaide study, 1995

    Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes
    “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.”
    REFERENCE: Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies; Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232, A. Smiley. 1999.

    “Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a ‘change’ from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect ‘impairment’ in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk.”
    REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division). 2000.

    Cannabis And Cannabinoids – Pharmacology, Toxicology And Therapy
    “At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven”.
    REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002.

    Cannabis: Our position for a Canadian Public Policy
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. This in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002.

    “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.”
    REFERENCE: Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002
    Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, edited by Franjo Grotenhermen, MD and Ethan Russo, MD (Haworth Press 2002).

    The Prevalence of Drug Use in Drivers, and Characteristics of the Drug-Positive Group
    “There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone.”
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention 32(5): 613-622. Longo, MC; Hunter, CE; Lokan, RJ; White, JM; and White, MA. (2000a).

    The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving
    “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009

    Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths
    “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,”
    REFERENCE: Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010

    Top 10 Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers
    “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.”

    Risk of severe driver injury by driving with psychoactive substances
    “The study found that those with a blood alcohol level of 0.12% were over 30 times more likely to get into a serious accident than someone who’s consumed any amount of cannabis. .. The least risky drug seemed to be cannabis and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.”
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis & Prevention; Volume 59, October 2013, Pages 346–356

    Cannabis: Summary Report
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs

    Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk
    “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.”
    REFERENCE: British Medical Journal, 1999; M. Bates and T. Blakely

    Marijuana-DUI Case Tossed by Arizona Supreme Court in Metabolite Ruling
    “Because the legislature intended to prevent impaired driving, we hold that the ‘metabolite’ reference in [the law] is limited to any of a proscribed substance’s metabolites that are capable of causing impairment . . . Drivers cannot be convicted of the . . . offense based merely on the presence of a non-impairing metabolite that may reflect the prior usage of marijuana.”

    “Stick all *that* in your pipe and smoke it!”

    • Don says:

      Excellent research! We couldn’t agree more. Hopefully, you’re not mistaking us for the new “monopoly” group that is suspiciously using a name almost identical to ours. Though our initiative does not allow driving under the influence of cannabis, Section 1 (C) states “This article prohibits testing for cannabis metabolites as a requirement for employment, insurance, and any licenses, and from being considered in determining other impairment or intoxication. No person shall be considered under the influence of cannabis products for personal use solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in his or her body, and must display impaired behavior as a result of the personal use of cannabis products to be considered under the influence of cannabis.” Hope that helps.

  7. Mary says:

    I would like to add my signature to the list. Where or how can I do this without becoming a volunteer collector?

    • Don says:

      After our summary is approved next month, we will have signing locations, volunteers, and events all over the state. Most have already sent their petitions to us, so locations are very limited until after summary approval. At that point, though, late next month, check back with us and we will have a better answer for you…

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