Rights are as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet. We have the right to free speech, the right to practice religion, the right to bear arms, the right to equal protection under the law and the right to due process.
We have the right to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
But when it comes to cannabis, it seems like we have “the right to remain silent, the right to consult an attorney before questioning and the right to have an attorney appointed if you can not afford one.”
Too often, medicinal users are read the ‘cannabis’ riot-act, which usually occurs immediately after the front door is kicked in, the house is trashed and the stash is found. The old ‘you have the right to remain silent’ mumbo-jumbo is then uttered, followed by the metallic sound of handcuffs clicking behind the back. This is referred to as – the right to be cuffed & stuffed and hauled off to jail.
Our amendment not only ends this persecution, but will vacate the records of citizens who have been charged with cannabis crimes in Ohio, changing countless lives that have been victims of the failed war on cannabis.
Even in states that have legal medicinal access, the rights seem more punitive than inalienable; more proscriptive than affirmative. For example, patients have the right to apply for a medical card, the right to pay a fee, the right to disclose sensitive medical information and the right to be placed in a data base. The only difference between legalization and prohibition, is that the patient pays a fee rather than a fine and is placed in digital handcuffs verse the noisy steel ones.
Is there a better way forward?
Here’s a novel idea that takes us back to our founding: The right of Ohio residents to possess, process, transport, use, share, and cultivate cannabis, commonly referred to as marijuana, marihuana, or hemp, for medicinal purposes! Wow. What a concept. An individual right affirmed to the people!
Freedom, liberty and the pursuit of wellness – as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.
And this is what Grassroots Ohioans stands for: The individual right to possess and use cannabis for medicinal purposes.