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Ohio Patients Rally In Support of HB 478

Daily Dose 2010-10-21 0 comments

From the Central Ohio NORML

Does she look like a criminal to you? Photo courtesy of Central Ohio NORML

OHIO — On October 16, 2010 in front of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio more than 250 people gathered to raise awareness and show support for HB 478 (summary).

The house bill, if passed, would make Ohio the 15th state in the nation to allow medical marijuana for desperately ill patients. Over the course of the four hour event hundreds of honks could be heard in support from passing cars.

The event drew activists from around Ohio and beyond. Numerous groups were represented, with Central Ohio Norml hosting the event.

Keynote Speakers at the event:

  • Dawn Dunlap, a patient and president of Central Ohio Norml
  • Tonya Davis, a noted activist and Ohio Norml board member, who helped write the current bill
  • Jenna Van Houten, a victim of our failed war on drugs. Speech Link
  • Harvey Wasserman, an activist and Historian author of several historical books
  • Pat Donnahue, former police investigator/detective
  • Cindy Wimer, patient and State Director of AAMC, West Virginia.
  • Alan Pugh, an experienced anti-war demonstrator and creator of the facebook group “legalize medical marihuana in Ohio
  • Richard M. Wolfe, the man instrumental in Ohio’s decriminalization of Cannabis in 1975, and a member of the National Board of Directors, for NORML.
  • Edward J. Orlett representative for the Drug policy Alliance in Ohio.

The rally was a success by any standard, as patients and non patients came together to stand up for their right to be treated as American citizens once again, rather than as a criminal subculture.

Activists lined State street downtown throughout the rally holding signs, passing out informational flyers, and speaking to passerby about how they can get involved in Ohio’s fight for patient’s rights.

Currently HB 478 is before the Health committee, headed by Representative Barbara Boyd. Patients have been promised a hearing sometime after the elections, in November. This does not mean that the bill will ever be voted on however. The only way to insure that the voice of the people will be heard is to speak loudly enough that no matter how high their office, no politician can fail to understand.

Tell them, “We are not criminals!” Email your representatives, call Barbara Boyd’s office and let her know that you care about Ohio’s patients, write letters to the editor of you local newspaper, post on local blogs. talk to people about medical Cannabis. Talk to your Doctor, talk to your neighbor. Speaking about your beliefs is still legal in this country, despite what some would have you believe.

Make some noise! We are not criminals, and we will not be silenced anymore!

source: Central Ohio NORML