Push to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Ohio Gains Momentum

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AKRON, Ohio--The effort to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio is gaining momentum as the group behind that effort works to gather more than 300,000 signatures to get the question in front of voters.

John Pardee, the President of the 'Ohio Rights Group,' said they already have about 45,000 verified signatures on petitions with 6,000 additional petitions in circulation.

If approved by voters, the 'Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment' would not only legalize medical marijuana, it would also establish a commission to regulate it.

Read more on the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment.

Pardee said he was not always an advocate for medical marijuana but an accident involving his son changed all of that.

"My son was almost killed in a car accident," said Pardee, explaining, "he survived, but pain is going to be his lifetime companion. He left the hospital with a long list of prescriptions for opiate painkillers."

Pardee said when his son first started using cannibus for his pain, he became concerned but as he became more educated about medical uses for marijuana he started to believe it was among the safest pain management options his son had that he could use for the rest of his life.

Pardee now believes medical marijuana could have also helped his ailing father who suffered from Parkinson's disease and can be a help to veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as well as a long list of other ailments.

His organization recently held a petition drive at the University of Akron where they collected about 300 signatures and is holding panel discussions in the Akron area and in Solon over the next two weeks trying to share more information about the proposed amendment.

A new Qinnipiac University Poll released on Monday says that almost 90% of the people they questioned in Ohio would be in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

Akron Police Chief James Nice is not among them.

Nice, whose law enforcement career includes work in Los Angeles where medical marijuana is legal, said he has seen how it can be abused.

"There are the marijuana clinics and it doesn't matter who you are or how healthy you are; you could go in, walk in ten minutes, have a prescription and get marijuana and there's just nothing good that comes from marijuana use," said Nice.

Those behind the legalization effort in Ohio said the concentration of THC, the chemical that produces the euphoric sensation in marijuana, is far less in the medical marijuana.

Pardee said smoking it actually burns up much of the medical benefits. He advocates vaporizing it or distilling it down so that it can be administered as drops or in other butters or oils.

Kelly Mehlmann of Akron is among those who have become involved in the effort to legalize marijuana after seeing a young boy suffer repeated seizures that she believes can be relieved with far fewer of the existing drugs if he were treated with the drops.

"He has been on so many medications and like I just keep thinking he's going to be sixteen and not be able to function because of how many drugs he's been put on while he was supposed to be developing when he has the medical marijuana and it could cut back and just help him," said Mehlmann.

Mehlmann denies using marijuana as a recreational drug herself and says she only advocates for the legalization of marijuana for legitimate medical purposes.

The Qinnipiac University Poll suggests that a majority of Ohioans believe marijuana is on par with or even less dangerous than alcohol.

Chief Nice believes they are both bad and two wrongs do not make a right.

What happens in Ohio could be left up to the voters later this year.


  • karmafoxlink

    OK, I’ve had enough of the over and over argument of how dangerous ANY drug is. I have been stuck with EPILEPSY for close to 18 years now. I don’t care how many ways you want to say ‘well, there will be a better pill’ or ‘there are other ways to deal with it’. I’ve had every single pill they have created, the new diet, and I had blasted brain surgery- even still the seizures happen. Not because I don’t take my meds, because they don’t work. I would love to work, be in the work force like I used to, I’m called a ‘liability’ there for, I CANT work. You think that this is some kind of joke so I can just get stoned? I would like to be able to stay focused enough to at least stay awake. ‘Sam’, how about living in my shoes. Try to get a job, keep it, and if all your epilepsy meds work pray that they all work. To people who just post up just to be a smart a$$, shut up and do some homework. I can’t deal with epilepsy anymore, simply because its medication has taken a huge toll on me. Before you start saying that I should give the brain surgery a chance, that was 2 years ago. I’m lucky to keep my self together from the idiotic responses I’ve been reading. Those who think it’s worse than alcohol? Do your homework too.

    • sam

      Holdup karmafoxlink don’t get mad at me because i made a comment like everyone else.
      I’am sorry that you have to live like that and if it was for medical purpose only fine with me not because someone has a bad cold.

      I’am talking about those that smoke it for the fun and giggles of getting high.

      My father died a few years ago of cancer and if we could have found or knew that weed would help him without going to jail or prison there is not enough weed in this world he could not get.

      My point is we need to separate the difference between Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

      i know a guy that’s running around today that has (listening to him mind you) every medical problem you can imagine and smoke weed all day, sell weed all day, won’t work, ain’t looking for work, get mad if you asking or telling him about a work, and still complaining about how sick he is and all he wants to do is sit in his small apt. and sell weed
      And what makes it so bad there is nothing wrong with him other than a useless dope head.

      oh he just found out he is bipolar now he’s talking about getting SSI.

      like i said if your problem is legitimate then there should be a procedure that everyone follows and be monitored like they are doing with these pain pills with a pill count.

      • Mylo

        Now tell me why exactly recreational shouldn’t be legalized with legitimate reasons, not an example of someone that happens to be a loser and smoke. Plus who cares if he does that, that’s his problem. If you think marijuana caused that you are most likely wrong I’m a student that smokes marijuana quite often and I have a 3.2 gpa and no absences this year. In reference to your other comment the same rules would apply to alcohol you are just trying to make it sound bad. Do you really think a teacher or someone of any occupation would go to work high? They would lose their job just like if they went to work under the influence of alcohol. Also if you think the general would smell of weed you are wrong in that area as well. You wouldn’t be able smell it, epically outside and I’m sure there would be laws against smoking it publicly especially in establishments. Don’t take this as insults or such I simply want to educate you. I’m just curious why anyone would be against it being legalized mainly because it wouldn’t effect you. If you look at laws of Colorado not just anyone can sell it you have to have an authorized dispensary or you can grow it. I assure you it will be regulated well especially if just medical and if people abuse it who cares they will smoke marijuana in their house privately not effecting you in any way seeing as about 93% that took part in the survey agreed I’m not worried about your single opinion but I choose to do this to help you and any other who read understand and have better knowledge.

      • sam


        i’am not going to ask you your age because your comment says enough for itself.

        stop wasting your time in school and get a “JOB’.

        And for your info. i know a person “right now” that works for a Municipal Court of a well known city that smokes weed daily and at times you can smell it on his clothes because his sweat glands and his pores.

        There has been times he can walk into a room or pass by and you can smell the strong order of marijuana and then he try’s to cover it up with cologne which it makes it worst.

        so as far as i am concern i could careless if you or anyone else smoke marijuana until it come’s out your “you know what”.
        It’s just a temporary relief of reality and when you come down off the high or pleasure that it gives you are still back at square one.

        so maybe you need to take your 3.2 GPA and use it for good use like finding a cure for cancer or find a way to solve all world problems and stop bragging about your GPA and remove yourself from the marijuana debating team..

      • Mylo

        Notice how you only argued one of you points because I completely blew holes through anything you said. Stop school and get a job? How do you get a good job, obviously by school what are you talking about? You are pretty ignorant. Many kids go to school high daily here and they rarely get caught so obviously whoever you know doesn’t attempt to hide it and if weed was legalized obviously people won’t be in public high because going somewhere usually requires a car in which you can operate while under the influence of pretty much any drug. My age is apparent? How so? If you are referring to my intelligence I’m much more smart than you and it’s apparent because you are arguing on the side which is obviously wrong and my counterpoints completely make your point irrelevant.

  • lisa jones

    just like anything else, it can and will be abused. just like people abuse alcohol. that doesn’t mean we should not use it for something that can be a positive thing. I know this little boy Kelly speaks of. . . this is something he could greatly benefit from.

  • lisa jones

    The drops that are given to children have the “harmful high” THC removed. it is not like they are rolling one to smoke for themselves. Please be aware of all the facts before making a decision. it could save a life

  • sam

    Causes of Altered States of Consciousness:
    Generally, there are two ways that people can enter ASC:

    1) Accidental – An ASC may be brought on accidentally (usually more common)
    Examples of accidental ASC are:
    – Sleep deprivation
    – Oxygen deprivation
    – Psychosis
    – Having a high fever
    – Any kind of traumatic event
    – Deep lucid dreaming

    2) Intentional – An ASC can also be brought on intentionally for either religious and/or recreational purposes

    Examples of intentional ASC are:
    – Sensory Deprivation
    – Mind-control techniques (prayer, hypnosis, meditation)
    – The use of psychoactive drugs (opiates, alcohol)
    – The use of entheogenic drugs (marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, Peyote, etc.)

  • Joellee Nguyen

    Who ever against Cannabis I have one thing to say.
    I am sorry that you’ve been lied to.

    Just Google it the information is out there. The Truth!
    Don’t be afraid to accept it. Don’t let the government manipulate you!
    Don’t be afraid to join us! We will welcome you! We do not discriminate!
    This country belong to the people!

    We the people! We shall overcome!
    Don’t let the government take away our rights!

    I do not use Cannabis. I am a proud father and a husband. I am a business man. I vote, serve on the jury and help the community.
    I believe that we the people have a right to choose.

  • Peter

    LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!!! If I could say it any louder I would. You are either really stupid or just clueless! As a cop I’m sure you know that thc stays in your system long after the effect are gone.up to a month.so how can you say that you have seen MANY pot caused deaths on the road??? That one just baffles me. It has to be a blantent LIE. But then again how many people out here have been pulled over for running a red light when it was yellow? Cops are great liers,they do it all day every day. Why anyone would try to prevent someone the ability to improve their quality of life I just don’t understand.I was born with Spina Bifide and have been in pain my whole life and have been prescribed every pain med from darvacet to fentynol. Marinuana is the only thing that gives me relief and doesn’t make you sick if I miss a dose. You have no idea what you are talking about. It’s scary to think that a person like you is supposed to be an authority figure.HEARTLESS AND BONE HEADED!!!!! We don’t need any more cops like you thank you! Get a news job, like a trash collector.

  • carl


    give it up the more you comment the more you sound like a child.

    we all can see you like attention and loves to show how smart you are.

    • Mylo

      Notice how you aren’t debating the main topic but rather trying to take the attention away from yourself by Insulting me.

  • Idiots

    I think it’s hilarious when people compare marijuana to cigarettes, especially. When these unducated people say “it has twice as much tar as cigarettes” it’s almost like they are just arguing the fact that they are mad that they cannot smoke so they don’t want the people, who can smoke, enjoy it. Seriously think about that argument…how many cigarettes does the average smoker probably smoke? According to the American lung association the average smoker smokes 15 cigarettes a day. I garauntee the average pot smoker doesn’t smoke 7 joints a day. Use some common sense or find a better argument. That’s why I believe they are just mad that they can’t smoke. My brother inlaw is a cop and he tells me all the time he wants to smoke. But he isnt going to go online or on TV and publicly announce that. I am a respiratory therapist, my job is lungs and out of all the people I have seen, therapists and pulmonologists I have talked to not ONE time have I seen anyone be admitted into the hospital for use of marijana and if it’s lung related, we would see them. For that cop to say there is absolutely NOTHING good could come from smoking he is CLEARLY uneducated. How would ingesting marijuana not be better than perscription narcotics? Why don’t people against marijuana try to make OxyContin illegal? It’s basically the same drug as heroin. Oh I know why, because they are uneducated and no nothing about it. Just like marijuana and they are just making themself look foolish and the sad part is, they don’t even know it. By the way, I used to smoke, I went to college, I stopped smoking for my job and family. I wasn’t addicted or dependent. I didn’t do heroin or smoke crack, therefore it was not a “gateway” for me. calling it a gateway is a whole other argument and a term also used by the uneducated “um…um…. But it’s a gateway drug” ya right. I was able to demomstrate it was not a gateway. But do I think people should smoke pot and drive, no I don’t. Cell phones are enough distraction. Why don’t u just picket cell phones and driving? That’s killing a lot more people than pot related deaths. Why don’t you just go crack down on that instead.

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