Majority of Ohioans want medical marijuana legalized

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A familiar issue is making its way back to the ballot: marijuana legalization.

A recent Public Policy Poll shows 3 in 4 Ohioans want to legalize medical marijuana.

The Quinnipiac University poll before the November 2014 election showed 90 percent of Ohioans wanted medical marijuana legalized.

Even after ResponsibleOhio’s Issue 3 to legalize and monopolize marijuana failed, the latest numbers show support for medical use of the drug is still strong.

A new advocate group for the drug says its stepping in to give Ohioans want they want.

“We didn’t find out that medical marijuana is beneficial for seriously ill people last week or a year ago; it’s been years now,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesperson with Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

MMP says this is not ResponsibleOhio’s measure; no monopoly will be attached.

“We’re proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow sick and dying people to access and use medical marijuana if their physician thinks it will provide them with benefits,” Tvert explained.

The group is drafting its initiative.

By the end of the month, MPP leaders hope to start the petition process and get onto the November ballot.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s lawmakers created a task force on marijuana legalization. In Columbus, local legislators have held 3 out of 7 meetings to hear from voters.

2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé spoke with task force member and local representative, Stephen Huffman.

“If the General Assembly does not lead in the issue, the ballot initiative may be a very difficult task for many people to take,” said Huffman, who represents Miami and Darke counties. “It may include homegrown in a very liberal aspect to get medical marijuana that may not be the best for the State of Ohio.”

For MPP, they say the time is now.

“We cant wait any longer,” Tvert made clear. “If the legislature is able to pass an effective, comprehensive medical marijuana law this year, that’s excellent. But in the meantime, we’re going to moving forward with just such a law at the ballot box in case the legislature doesn’t follow through.”

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