Regulations Matter, But Where Do They Belong?

Grassroots Ohio has crafted a rights-based constitutional amendment and will be collecting signatures for placement on the November 8th, 2016 ballot. Our amendment was drafted with input from the legalization community and the collective wisdom of our leaders.

In drafting our amendment, regulations were purposely left out, as Ohio’s Constitution is no place for administrative codes, policies and rules. This is because regulations need to be flexible, with the ability to adapt and change when issues arise.

Because a constitutional amendment does not allow this type of flexibility and, because it can only be changed or modified by another constitutional amendment, we understood the wisdom in not placing regulatory codes in our amendment. We simply wanted to ensure the flexibility needed to make future changes. This is especially important when considering the advancements made in medicinal and industrial cannabis. Flexibility is key when developing and implementing regulations that will guide Ohio’s emerging medicinal and industrial cannabis market.

So where do the regulations come in?
Will this be the Wild West?

Our leadership and members have began working with the State Legislature in 2013, providing education and information regarding patient needs, issues relating to access and so forth.

Ideally, this should be a collaborative process between the citizens and state – with the state developing regulations that help move medical use forward. We understand, however, that the ideal doesn’t necessarily become reality.

To ensure appropriate regulations should the state not move, we are developing a “citizen initiated statute,” which will outline the regulations needed to ensure a safe and fair commercial cannabis industry. An Initiated Statute allows citizens to develop rules and regulations, placing them directly in the Ohio Administrative and Revised Code. This is accomplished by submitting the initiated statute along with 90,000 valid signatures to the state, who then implements the statute.

This allows for flexibility in changing and/or tweaking the rules, without having to submit another constitutional amendment to achieve the same goal (which can be very time consuming with no guarantees of passage).

Grassroots Ohio is committed to helping patients get access to the medicine they need.

We have crafted a comprehensive plan to do this that guarantees the right to use, possess and cultivate cannabis for medicinal and/or industrial needs. We have a plan to help shape the rules and regulations that will govern the commercial sale of cannabis, while at the same time allowing all Ohioans the chance to participate – not just a select few – through schemes that limit and restrict commercial licensure.

Mike MacGuffie

 

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