Political Cowardice: An Ohio Problem, A National Epidemic

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 13, 2010

    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 responses to “Political Cowardice: An Ohio Problem, A National Epidemic”

    1. randy nc says:

      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. Stephen says:

      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. Steve Joey says:

      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. cjd says:

      I guess i was wrong, I thought lawmakers were the voice of the people.Go figure.

    5. DB says:

      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.


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      Celebrate Thanksgiving Day!
      Celebrate CDXX Communion!
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      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

    7. amber says:

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

    8. KCMO.420 says:

      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!

    9. Ed says:

      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.

    10. JJ says:

      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?????