Political Cowardice: An Ohio Problem, A National Epidemic

Well, the headline pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

Most Ohioans support medical marijuana, pollsters say, but state lawmakers shy away
via The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohioans of all races, income levels, educational backgrounds and ideologies tell pollsters that they support allowing Ohio doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients.

But Gov. Ted Strickland and most Ohio lawmakers don’t.

So a medical marijuana bill introduced last week by Rep. Kenny Yuko and a handful of House Democrats has pretty much already gone up in smoke, despite what most Ohioans may think.

Let’s review, shall we?

Last week House lawmakers introduced HB 478, the Ohio Medical Compassion Act, which would allow state-authorized patients to possess and cultivate cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

This week, a statewide poll conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, found that 73 percent of Ohio adults favor the measure.  This survey result comes on the heels of a nationwide ABC News/Washington Post poll showing that 81 percent of all Americans support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Nevertheless, lawmakers have made it clear that they are willing to buck this public opinion out of some inexplicable fear that to not do so is “political suicide.”

Excuse me, but since when is it ‘political suicide’ to endorse a measure that over seven out of ten of your constituents say they support?

Virtually every state and national poll on record shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans back legalizing medical marijuana, and several recent polls indicate that a slight majority of voters also support broader legalization for personal use.  Yet a majority of politicians still believe that it is a viable position to oppose such reforms on the antiquated notion that to not do so would invite a ‘public backlash.’

Well, it is time to tell these ‘flat Earthers’ that they are wrong.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating — now more than ever: Marijuana law reform no longer a political liability; it’s a political opportunity. If your politicians aren’t getting the message then it is time to spell it out to them — in the only language they know: votes.

It is time to let them know that opposing sensible marijuana reform is political suicide, and not the other way around.

So why not visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ and tell them!

57 thoughts

  1. More proof that politicians do not work for us…we may hire them and provide their salaries but they don’t legislate with OUR best interests in mind.

  2. Ohio needs to stand up and take what they rightfully deserve! Unfortunately I don’t live in that state, but if you do, don’t be lazy! Advocate!

  3. They already know its not “political suicide.” The reality is, take the word political out of the equation and youll have something closer to the truth. Theyre more worried about the industialists, cartels, and other illegal drug runners feeding them money and protection in exchange for the status quo unchanged. If cannabis were legalized in any facility, the people making so much money now from its prohibition would lose billions. And they would not be happy about it. The politicians are fully aware of what The People want and if they were more concerned with The People rather than money and protection, like this government was actually founded upon, they would be doing things much differently. There would be no prohibition.

  4. It’s the same story here in Wisconsin. In just 8 days the latest legislative session ends and so does our hope of having medical marijuana here in our state. Poll after poll shows overwhelming support by Wisconsin citizens for medical marijuana, yet our representatives aren’t following through with the will of the people. I just don’t even see the point in participating in lobbying from one week to the next if nothing comes of it. It’s all so stupid and I’m fed up with it personally. I guess I’m voting everyone out in November, that is if I’m still living here by then.

  5. So! the next time you’re chiilin’ at some Saturday, twilight, 420 barbecue, “Happy Hour,” and you’re about to “fire one up,” give your face a smile for CDXX Communion. Just as thanks to the one who gave us our Holy Sacrament. A little “tip of the hat” to gGramps never goes unnoticed, least of all in your own heart. gGramps knows when he is appreciated. gGramps can tell by “the smile on your face.”
    Celebrate Thanksgiving Day!
    Celebrate CDXX Communion!
    Celebrate the Fellowship!
    Celebrate life!
    Follow your spirit to kife.

    THE SIXTH DAY, Thanksgiving Day, CDXX Communion, is a Celebration of Fellowship. Genesists wish our house to be a community open [as air] to all to whom we spiritually belong, and who belongs to us. As is our Genesist nature, mutual sharing of Observation, Experience, Wisdom, and Brotherhood permeate our “Celebration of Fellowship” on the Sixth Day.

    Manford Mantis

  6. Damn Ohioians. I lived there once, and did 3 days in jail and a year of probation for 5 plants!!! minor misdeamnor my ass!

  7. This is apparently another example of the old adage, “Change is good. You go first.” with the midwestern states. It’s coming, but very slow to the Bible belt.

    It’s time that the “medical” issue goes nationwide. States can haggle over which ones will allow use for recreational purposes, but enough is enough. For those who have valid medical uses, not supporting this should be political suicide as it leaves the patients with only ACTUAL suicide as an alternative.

    It’s high time that we begin to rally together and get the medical issue put forth on a nationwide level. We are, afterall, the UNITED States and what is good for a Californian should also be good to other federal tax paying citizens in all states. We don’t want another stupid Civil War over this because us patients are too weak to carry a musket.

    If enjoying cannabis was something recommended by Abraham Lincoln, why is this even an issue? We have had our freedoms stripped away and we need to continue to fight until we get them back.

    Give me LIBERTY or give me DEATH!

  8. This is why it’s more important than ever to increase public favor of legalization. If the current trend continues long enough, there will be a point where all the Ron Pauls will come out of the woodwork and get elected. Besides, politicians should follow public opinion, and that usually happens in the long run.

  9. Ohio citizens, you need to get on that horn. Hook up a speaker and megaphone and get on your court house lawn and start protesting these idiots…why are they still in office?????

  10. So much for this country being “for the people and by the people”. It’s hard to believe that even with a majority of people supporting medical marijuana, the idiots running this country and state don’t listen to THE PEOPLE. I think the main problem is that our country and state lawmakers are mostly those who grew up during the reefer madness days. We need to let them know times have changed, and the reefer madness days existed due to ignorance and lies. Marijuana was made illegal based on lies. It doesn’t make sense for many reasons to keep it illegal.

    The key here is teaching those old fart lawmakers(most of them) how ignorant they are and that they need to get a clue before they deny something.

  11. Way to go Ohio, hey Norml you all are doing a great job, its got to feel good making all the no good politicos squirm, it would be helpful if you can give us a list to take to the polls of who is on our side, and those not to vote for.

  12. I hate to be this guy but it seems more and more ol democracy is fading into plain old socialism. Whats that people who elect me? You want what? NO! And from what i read its the same no you read in the congressional testimony from the 37 tax act hearings. Like the author stated how is it that a clear majority of polled adults in the state support the measure but cant seem to get measures past? Still in the 20’s and 30’s with our politics. So i say grow and smoke it if you think its right for you. Research your drug of choice and make wise decisions about your body and mr or mrs politician can keep on doin whatever it is they do in that God forsaken place they call the office.

  13. they will not do it tney know if they did police would assinate them these despicable proffiteers in human misery will not stop at anything to protect their rackett .nothing short of all out war on these nazi wannabes will stop them

  14. I am from Ohio and I have contacted my elected officials. Unfortunatly, all I have gotten back was generic responses that really didn’t tell me if they supported the legislation or not.

  15. Thanks NORML, for covering us Buckeyes. This sucks, though. This is I think the third time this has happened here. At least we are getting more coverage.

  16. Wow… NORML

    How about WISCONSIN?!

    This is old news; Wisconsin sits with a bill in committee even when the citizens in the state support it overwhelmingly.

    Nothing is EVER going to happen when legislators disregard taking up anything in fear of votes… which doesn’t make sense when medical marijuana is much more popular than health care reform (so is outright legalization).

  17. I was really looking forward to the possibility of this bill passing too.. So I guess it doesn’t matter how many emails I send in, they are going to ignore the people.

  18. It’s Ohio, you’re allowed to have 100g anyway. Sure, you can’t grow your own but at least you don’t have to worry about prison.

  19. what really erks me is WHEN are our elected officials going to start voting the will of the people who elected them instead of the people that are lining there pockets on the backside!

  20. Humbolts got no need to worry for the next few years until they need to think about serious large nationwide operations…. up front.

  21. seriously fuck this dude im sick of the stupid bulshit believe me if i could vote i would i wanna make a change but dont know where to begin im only 17 but really come on ppl lets do something we need this not onl as a state but a nation if your in ohio and didnt vote and your of voting age shame on you i hope you feel like shit… and to our goverment stop fucking with our lives americans need this medicine more than we need anything the goverment is just a joke

  22. Well, we vote for them and they tell us what to do and how to do it. Its time to elect real officals with courage and an understanding that the people are in charge and not the government. Bye, Bye Strickland!

  23. It’s time all states have the ability for state referendums. Like Cali. Live in Wisc, but not for long. F+++ em !

  24. So if our leaders are NOT listening to the people they are supposed to represent then who DO they take their queues from?

    Law enforcement? The ones who don’t make the laws they just enforce them? The ones who LIE about marijuana effects and dangers so they can keep their tax dollars flowing? That’s who our leaders keep quoting on this when they try to justify prohibition. “Law enforcement says this or law enforcement says that“

    Maybe we should not be spending so much time writing letters to political leaders and start flooding the sheriffs offices with phone calls and letters instead. Start sending the jack booted morons the case studies and facts.

  25. I’ve been waiting and working years to see Ohio progress to at least compassionate use for the ill. I will support this Act.

    BUT, I want legal use for responsible Adults without the need for a license or permission from anyone! And I will fight for that so that ALL including med pot patients and recreational users alike will enjoy a little more freedom!

  26. It’s simple math really:

    70%+ of Ohio voters support medmj.

    70%+ of wealthy pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corps; drug rehab, prison guard unions, and prison construction corps; police unions, district attorneys, and religious orgs that contribute millions to re-election campaigns don’t support medmj.

    And the truth is that very few of the first group are single-issue voters that would vote for the other guy if their guy votes against medmj. “Yeah, he voted against medmj, but his opponent is anti-choice!” or “Yeah, she voted against medmj, but her opponent is pro-gun control!” are the types of end justifications we’ll see in the Ohio ballot box come November.

    But Ohioans can bypass the unresponsive government by putting together a citizen initiative: http://bit.ly/bTkYRi When the people vote on medmj, not only do they win (ex. South Dakota 2006), but they also craft a better law than the legislatures do (see: Michigan 2008 vs. New Jersey 2010).

  27. It really sucks that this is happening in my home state that I might see only once a year if I am lucky with all the deployments I do defending this great country of ours. I watch all of the news around the country of how our politicians do not listen to the people anymore and I wander “why should I be serving my country when the people appointed above me can’t even listen to the people I am sworn to protect.” So from a tired soldier to OHIO Politicians: Just do your F#@$ing jobs and listen to your people!

  28. We want medical cannabis!!Govenor Strickland says it is unnecessary. I think Strickland is unnecessary and i will remember this come voting time.These Ohio Politican are so afraid of a plant and their own shadows.Ohio should be the 15th state for medical. Putting people in jails are not the answer.Email Govenor Strickland and tell him you want medical cannabis leglized. Then call him, the people that answer the phons are nice, so be nice to them Phone number is 614-466-3555. Do it now and let this goverment know that 73%
    want legalaztion>

  29. It is not so much that 7 out of 10 voters support it, but who makes up that other 3 out of 10 that needs to always be looked at.

    Since drugs are a “safe” issue to rally against, politicos of all walks will still tread lightly or blatantly to ensure that the 30% who do not support it usually make up their finance base for “other things” including re-election. Their numbers usually support that idea when it comes to these “safe” issues. Environmental concerns are another prime example.

    The idea that this issue would be significant enough to throw an election in many areas is moot. Hence the continued press forward seemingly against better judgment.

    The most disturbing aspect of course is this is representative of the problem with the current representative system as a whole. Once elected, and of course before, your concerns are nothing more than catchy slogans in a campaign and have no bearing on what these elected officials do once in office.

    Until the people controlling the purse strings see it as a potential backlash issue in a region, you will not see a reverse in position on this. Not being trite here, just simple politics 101 when it comes to grasping the what and why of their actions.

  30. Paul honey, politicians are just too darn stupid to realize they’d get re-elected and viewed favorable if they ended the war on drugs.

    But yes, I’ll remind them again. (which by the way is getting tiresome).
    I sent a postal letter and an email to one Senator, oh, five months or so ago, and proved all his points incorrect and never heard back from him.

  31. Its probably because the people who are “in charge” were bullied by marijuana in high school… that can be very damaging to a young assholes self-esteam, and make them want to lash out and punish its followers… Duschbaggery at its finest!

  32. I live in Ohio. why cant we just petition and vote in November?

    [Editor’s note: Ohio is one of a few dozen states that do allow for binding voter initiatives to placed on the ballot. However, the estimated cost for gathering the needed signatures and run a proper campaign in OH exceeds $1 million. To date, unfortunately, neither the concerned citizens of OH or the rich corp of billionaires who generally fund multi-million initiatives via DPA or MPP (one of the billionaires, MPP funder Peter Lewis, lives in OH…) have chosen to fund a pro-medical cannabis law reform initiative.]

  33. I recall reading a Norml report not so long that in the recent senate by-election to fill the seat left vacant by the late Ted Kennedy, it was the pro marijuana law reform Republican candidate that got voted in and the pro marijuana prohibitionist Democrat that lost.

    [Editor’s note: You’re likely confusing NORML with another organization or webpage as the organization never recognized Scott Brown as a pro-reform candidate when in fact he has always opposed cannabis law reforms–including the popularly elected decrim initiative in MA in 2008 which picked up 65% of the vote.]

  34. Someone (Jason) mentioned this is the result of our country heading toward socialism and away from democracy, I tend to take the opposite stance is that this country has been taken over by the corporations who exploit,influence and control the people of the USA. They simply do not want a natural earth grown substancee that is easily grown with no way to put a patent on it. Besides, Jason, Democracy is political system, quite seperate from the economic models of socialism and capitalism.

  35. Ohio is my neighbor-PA represent.Theres enough good heads in ohio to make a change.Everyone neeeds to get pumped up about it in there town or woods and see the change in the future.The reseach is on our sides.

  36. is it even worth it anymore or should i just give up ? every time something good like this comes our (as in ohio) way we always get shot down by the people in power i dont see how they can do this the constitution grants the rigth to life liberty and pursuit of happyness as well as a democratic goverment maybe its just me but this doesnt seem to democratic at all and its defintally not letting me have my right to pursue my dreams to liberty and happyness and it takes away the lives of others by throwing innocent people behind bars i dont know if this makes any sense to anyone does anyone else feel the same way ?

  37. money power control power control money control money power …… a war

    remember how those chigong suddenly appeared (as if by magic) surrounding and surprising the entire chinese govt?! google

    or do you follow the techniques of subcomandante marcos? you should


  38. I wonder if a politicion gets unemployment after he gets voted out of office

    rember we have the power in the jury box and the ballot box

  39. Jason, in post 15, complains that Democracy is on the way out and Socialism is taking over. I have to laugh. In what way is socialism taking over? Do you, Jason, know anyone over 65 years of age who depends on Social Security or Medicare? Your grandparents perhaps, or an older uncle or aunt? Would you deny them their benefits? I personally don’t know anyone over that age who ISN’T on one or both of those two programs, including my conservative mother- and father-in-law. (And you can bet neither of them would ever forfeit their “socialistic” benefits, tho they both complain about ’em all the time, lol!)

    Can you imagine what our country would look like if we had millions of oldsters living on the streets and eating out or garbage cans because they no longer have their govt benefits? Jason, you willing to take in your grandparents and other older relatives? How about any of the other downtrodden and starving senior citizens? We already have a lot of homeless all over America–can you imagine what the situation would look like if we doubled or tripled or quadrupled that number with the seniors?

    BTW, what does your fear of socialism have to do with MJ legalization? As I’ve mentioned on other posts, the ONLY country in the WORLD that allows open MJ smoking is a socialist country, Holland. We all know about Amsterdam, because that’s the party city–but the whole–socialistic–govt of Holland allows MJ. So why do you (and others who visit this site) continually bemoan an evil socialist govt “ending our freesoms” when we live in the most capitalistic system in the world, and one that we know prohibits legal MJ? Obviously, socialist Holland doesn’t “end the freedom” of its citizens when it comes to pot. And I’ll also say that they have a press that sure seems one heck of a lot freer than our paid-for-by-the-highest-bidder press.

    The one state in the USA closest to legalization–California–is probably one of the most socialistic states in the country and definitely one of the most progressive. Those states furthest away? I think you know who they are.

  40. 48 Longtime Puffer 04.16.10

    Now I know why you’re so opposed to posts against socialism…you’re a socialist. Well! OK! It’s the [non-socialist] country [FREEDOM] that allows you to be a socialist. It’s a socialist country that [would not] allow your to say what you’re saying. You figure it out – but – God bless you – however – socialists are usually secular. God bless you anyway!

  41. Rebel, lol, you’re a socialist too if you drive on the city streets, and drink the city water. I’m a socialist only insofar as I admit that I think social programs are important–vital–to our existance in a society.

    If you don’t think you benefit from the same “socialism” then you’d better go find a cave to live in.

    Also, as I mentioned in several posts, Holland is a socialist country–providing its citizens with more benefits than does America. They have every freedom in their press that I see here–if not more. Every newsstand I saw in Amsterdam had newspapers from all over the world; of Amsterdam’s two largest newspapers, one is conservative (De Telegraaf) and one is liberal (De Volkskrant); and there are many many political newspapers in-between and outside those spheres. In fact, I would challenge you to provide examples of censorship in Amsterdam. (Rebel, please do not confuse a socialist govt with a communist govt–they are VERY different.)

    We were in Amsterdam during a huge transit strike during our first visit. On the local TV news that night, they spent about 10 minutes on that story, with a speaker on each side giving about 5 minutes of air time–5 minutes each! Here in the States, local TV would devote a sound bite of about 20 seconds to that story–usually how store owners were inconvenienced, etc–then go on to the latest car crash or murder story. But, I’m guessing you believe that means you have a free press.

    My conservative mother-in-law asked my wife and me when she picked us up at the airport, “What does it feel like to be in a free country again?” Even my wife, who doesn’t care for politics, had to roll her eyes.

    Regarding your comment that I’m a socialist, I’ve never considered myself a socialist–I’ve always considered myself a liberal. There are different degrees, I suppose: liberal–socialist–communist; conservative–reactionary–fascist. Libertarian–anarchist. Like I say, I consider myself a liberal (now called progressive), but one who believes we need certain social programs. I was actually a red-ass conservative when I was a teenager–but Richard Nixon cured me of that. BTW, if we’re giving labels, is it fair to assume that you’re a tea bagger?

    Listen Rebel, I’ve worked most of my adult life. I’m 10 years away from retirement age, and I’m looking ward to retiring, to receiving the SS check I’ve paid into most of my life. Do you want to tell me that you plan on working until the day they put you into the ground? I personally look forward to that free time. If that makes me a raving socialist, so be it.

    Rebel,I bear you no ill will. You have a right to your opinion, just as long as you restrict your feelings to words and not violent actions–as I do. You ended your missive cordially, and so will I. God bless you.

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