Once again, the annual COLUMBUS festival called COMFEST took place and Ohio NORML was there. COMFEST is an event that Ohio NORML has attended for years. Many other NORML chapters come together to support each other in our mission of reforming the marijuana laws. Comfest is a chance for people who are involved or interested in changing the current marijuana laws to come together to educate and socialize. This year COMFEST was held at the end of June in Columbus, Ohio.
This year we had some difficulties that almost resulted in us not being able to attend this year. Despite those setbacks, we made it and it turned out to be a great weekend event. This was made possible by the dedicated people who have joined together to end prohibition. A special mention needs to go out to Mike, Heather, Scott, Kim, Shardee, Marshall, Nicole, Ken, James, Emily, Linda, and Connie. Each helped to make this event a success.
We had a problem gathering signatures for the Medical Marijuana ballot. We only had one tent due to the geography which was not favorable setting up the petition section. Still, with the help of passing out around a thousand or so stickers and signing a letter to Federal representatives, we directed people to the Medical Marijuana ballot at the entrance of Goodale Rd and handed in over 500 signatures for the medical marijuana petition effort at the end of the festival.
Despite our efforts to reform marijuana laws, prohibition is still here. Almost 100 people received marijuana citations for smoking at the event. The rules were clearly stated at the festival entrance, and Columbus police were circulating in the crowd undercover. Officers were going from tree to tree writing citations for possessing or smoking marijuana. This is a clear signal that prohibition is still in effect and we have work to do.
It was great not only to see so many friendly faces. I also personally handed in HUNDREDS of medical marijuana petition packets. It was a great event and look forward to attending more in the future. Thanks to everyone that made this such a wonderful experience.
Rob Ryan, President
Our opposition, the prohibitionist are urging our Senators to exclude the Pro-Marijuana Amendments and gut Congress's decision to defund the DEA from raiding states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is our duty to respond and urge our United States Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to support the recent House decision. We cannot let this moment pass without speaking up.
I have included my own letter to Portman and Brown. Note it is best not to use the form letter, so if you do use a from letter customize it and make it personal.
Also please send a letter of thanks to those Congressman who voted for the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to the Department of Justice's budget and an opposite letter to those who voted NO! At the very end of this email I included a list of Ohio Congressional representatives and their vote on this important vote.
President, Ohio NORML
Working to legalize marijuana in Ohio
Now is the time to act and end marijuana prohibition.
-------My letter to Portman and Brown---------
I ask you to support the House's decision to stop the Department of Justice from using federal funds to undermine state laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana.
This issue is important to me personally. I have survived three cancers in my life. Marijuana has helped me during the brutal chemo rounds that I went thru for the greater part of the year. Note I had my oncologist full support using marijuana.
This amendment would save significant tax dollars, curb federal overreach in areas traditionally reserved for the states, and protect states' rights to choose how to regulate medical marijuana without fear of federal interference.
It is time to recognize the facts that marijuana is not deadly, addictive and with no medical use as defined by current United States and Ohio Law.
Blue Ash, Ohio
Your Senator Contact Info
Sen. Sherrod Brown
HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building, Room 713
120 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3505
Sen. Rob Portman
RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building, Room 448
2 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3506
New York, NY: CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is "doubling down" in his advocacy for patients to have legal access to cannabis as a therapeutic agent.
In commentary featured on the CNN website Wednesday, Gupta writes: "I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana. I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down."
Last August, Gupta authored a commentary apologizing for his past opposition to medical cannabis, stating, "We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States (in regards to cannabis), and I apologize for my own role in that."
In his most recent editorial, Gupta acknowledges, "Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, defined as (among) the most dangerous drugs with no currently accepted medical use. Neither of those statements has ever been factual." He also criticizes President Obama for acknowledging that cannabis poses less harm than alcohol while failing "to remove marijuana from the list of the most tightly controlled substances in the country."
Polling data released today by Quinnipiac University revealed that a majority of Ohio voters support legalizing marijuana for recreational use and nearly 9 out of 10 support legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. When asked if they supported or opposed allowing adults in Ohio to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, 51% said they would support this policy and only 44% were opposed.
Support was strongest amongst voters age 18-29 (72%), Independent voters (61%), and Democrats (54%) and weakest among Republicans (33%) and voters over the age of 65 (31%). Essentially all voters stated they supported legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. 87% said they supported allowing marijuana for medical use and just 11% were opposed.No demographic had less than 78% support.
Rob Ryan, Ohio NORML President, is not surprised by the favorable Quinnipiac poll response. In his experience speaking to various non marijuana groups, even the most conservative citizens in south west Ohio, where Mr. Ryan lives, readily agree that marijuana is not a deadly, addictive drug with no medical use as it is defined by to be in the same class as heroin by state and federal law. You can view the full results of the poll here.