Medical marijuana initiatives miss the mark on the November ballot

Published: Jun. 21, 2012 at 2:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The medical marijuana movement in Ohio is looking forward to 2013.

So far the two initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, the Ohio Medical Cannabis Act and the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment, will not have enough signatures gathered to land on the 2012 November ballot.

Each petition requires more than 385,000 validated signatures to qualify as a ballot initiative.

Anti-drug advocates are not surprised each initiative is coming up short.

"We're a pretty conservative state so I think that is to our advantage as far as legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes," says Mary Haag.

Haag is the president and CEO for the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. Haag says the coalition aligns itself with the same position as the Drug-Free Action Alliance and the Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio.

"Determining the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is not up to voters or legislators. We have the FDA and that process which approves, studies and classifies drugs," says Haag.

But medical marijuana supporters say it should be up to the people and it's really a human rights issue.

"I believe people should have the freedom to decide for themselves. I believe they should have the right to safe access," says Tim Essen.

Essen runs the online cannabis company Natural Choice and advocates for the total legalization of marijuana in Cincinnati.

"Prohibition only breeds crime and all that money and all that revenue that goes into it is put into the hands of drug dealers, it's all untraced and unregulated money," says Essen.

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