Anti-drug groups lining up against medical-marijuana amendment


A medical-marijuana amendment might or might not be on the ballot in Ohio this fall, but opponents are already spoiling for a fight.

Representatives of several anti-drug groups spoke at a Statehouse news conference yesterday, blasting the idea of putting legalization of marijuana for medical use to a public vote.

Kevin Sabet, a senior adviser to national drug czar Gil Kerlikowske from 2009 to 2011, said prescribing marijuana for medical purposes isn’t a bad idea if it is in pill form, but it’s wrong to use “smoked marijuana under the pretense of medicine.”

Nationally known as a crusader against medical marijuana in the traditional form, Sabet said existing drugs, and others in the testing stage, contain the key chemical components of marijuana but are dispensed in pill form. One such drug is Marinol, often prescribed for cancer and AIDS patients.

It seems unlikely that Ohioans will vote this fall on either of two separate medical-marijuana issues approved last year by the Ohio Ballot Board. The board cleared the way for supporters of the Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2012 and the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment to begin gathering the 385,245 signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the ballot. The groups have until July 6 to submit names.

But neither group has reported much success in fund-raising or signature collection.

In fact, backers of the Medical Cannabis Amendment have re-grouped and re-named the organization Mary Jane Borden, a representative of the group, said it will submit a new petition to the state in a few weeks that will include legalized growing and use of hemp, a plant related to marijuana that is grown in Canada but is illegal in the U.S. She said the group hasn’t decided whether it will still aim for an amendment on the fall ballot.

Sabet said the experience of 18 states and the District of Columbia where medical marijuana is legal show that just 5 percent of those receiving the drug have severe medical problems. He said analyses show the typical user is “a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug-abuse problems and no major medical history.” Ailments for which marijuana was most often prescribed were headaches and stress. Article Link…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.