DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


Press Release from Americans for Medical Rights

Drug Reform Coordination Network
(DRCNet) Rapid Response Team

Please copy and distribute.

(Note: DRCNet is distributing this press release as a service to our readers. We are not formally affiliated with AMR, though we support their aims.)


Repeal of New Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Could Lead to Ballot Initiative in 1998

SANTA MONICA, December 2 -- Ohio Governor George Voinovich and other state officials could invite a ballot initiative fight in 1998 if they take steps to repeal the state's new medical marijuana law, says a national group advocating legal permission for the medical use of marijuana.

Americans for Medical Rights (AMR), which sponsored the successful Proposition 215 campaign in California this past November under the name Californians for Medical Rights, today praised the Ohio law and said it should remain on the books.

AMR spokesman Dave Fratello said, "The new law in Ohio protecting medical users of marijuana is model legislation. Political leaders should give it a chance to work, not act hastily to repeal it."

"In most parts of the country," Fratello continued, "voters support the medical use of marijuana while opposing its outright legalization. Thus they are likely to support the new law in Ohio."

"If it is repealed," Fratello added, "there is every reason to believe that the voters will get a chance to put the law back on the books in 1998, through an initiative. Our group will work with local patients' rights advocates and medical groups to examine the options if repeal happens. The politicians must see that voters are ahead of them on this issue."

The Ohio legislature passed the new medical marijuana law within a comprehensive crime bill in 1995. The marijuana provision took effect July 1, 1996, providing an "affirmative defense" in court to persons facing marijuana charges who can prove they were using the drug under the prior, written order of their physician.

Last week, Gov. Voinovich and Attorney General Betty Montgomery expressed surprise at the law's passage and vowed to work for its repeal in the legislative session beginning in January.

If you like what you see here and want to get these bulletins by e-mail, please fill out our quick signup form at http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.

Click to sign up now

Return to Rapid-Response-Team Chronological Listing

Drug Reform Coordination Network