DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network

2/3/97

URGENT ACTION ALERT:
Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Under Threat

[We are sending this bulletin about Ohio legislation to the entire list because (1) we have not yet set up our Midwest regional list yet, and can't until some technical issues are solved; and (2) we would like everyone to help on this one. Please note that there is a similar Virginia alert about to go out as well, but only to the mid-Atlantic list. If you live in Virginia (or West Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York or New Jersey) and haven't signed up for the mid-Atlantic regional list, please send e- mail to listproc@drcnet.org with the line "subscribe drc-midatl your name" in the body of the message (not the subject). We will make sure you receive the Virginia bulletin even if it goes out before you sign up.]

Last year, the Ohio legislature passed a medical marijuana defense as part of its omnibus crime bill. Though the medical defense was debated in detail, legislators are now claiming not to have noticed it, and Ohio's attorney general, Betty Montgomery, is pushing through a bill to repeal it. Our sources tell us that the State Senators did not pay much attention to the six medical users that testified.

We are asking all DRCNet members and supporters to call the attorney general and the governor to express your outrage at their cruel disregard for the rights of patients, and to urge them to back off and let the marijuana medical defense stand. Call Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery at (614) 466-3376 and Governor George V. Voinovich at (614) 466-3555.

We are also asking residents of Ohio to contact their state representatives and senators and tell them you support patients' access to medical marijuana and that you would like them to oppose repeal of the marijuana medical defense. Contacting state legislators may be the most important thing for Ohio reformers to do.

You might also wish to write to the Governor and the Attorney General:

The bill is reported to be on the fast track, so PLEASE CALL NOW. For further information, contact John Hartman, Northcoast NORML, (216) 521-9333.

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