FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: ORG General Number – (614) 300-0529 and Mary Jane Borden – (614) 599-2485
Date: January 8, 2018
SUBJECT: U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS PLACES OHIO PATIENTS IN JEOPARDY
Heightens need for Congressional protection of Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment
(Columbus, Ohio) Ohio’s foremost medical marijuana patient group—the Ohio Rights Group—blasted the recent decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end protections in states where medical marijuana use has been legalized. This includes Ohio, which is in the process of implementing the regulatory system established by the General Assembly under HB 523 for the purpose of safely providing cannabis to patients who have been diagnosed with one of over 20 serious medical conditions.
“The decision by AG Sessions is alarming. People like me who need this medication are having their hopes dashed. They don’t deserve this,” said Kay Kuebler, a Dayton-area Multiple Sclerosis patient who needs medical marijuana to control the debilitating symptoms of her illness. “It brings me heartache to worry about the federal government threatening to taking away our medicine.”
Thursday’s decision by AG Sessions strips away a key legal protection afforded states by the so-called “Cole memo” authored in 2013 under the Obama Administration. This document effectively protected states where marijuana has been legalized provided their programs have taken steps to prevent the diversion of marijuana. AG Sessions’ decision puts Ohio’s nascent medical marijuana program in jeopardy.
The protection of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, a budget rider drafted to insulate states from Federal medical marijuana enforcement, is set to expire on January 19th. That amendment prohibits using federal funds to interfere with state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs.
“We are calling on Congress to move quickly to extend the protections offered in the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment,” said Ohio Rights Group Founder and Treasurer Mary Jane Borden. “This regressive decision by the US Attorney General will only serve to hurt Ohio’s patient community and sow uncertainty as Ohio continues the process of enacting its program.”
The Ohio Rights Group is asking its supporters to contact U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Rob Portman, as well as their local Congressional representative, to request their support of extending the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment and to condemn this ill-advised move by the US Attorney General.
U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown: 202-224-2315
U.S. Senator, Rob Portman: 202-224-3353
“We fought for years to bring this safe and effective medicine to Ohio’s sick, dying and disabled and we are proud to have convinced our elected representatives to enact this historic program in Ohio,” Borden said. “Our representatives must stand up for Ohio’s patients and unanimously condemn AG Sessions’ plan that will undoubtedly place Ohio’s patients once again on the front lines failed war on marijuana.”
The Ohio Rights Group is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of Ohioans to make medical, therapeutic and industrial use of the Cannabis plant and supports the growing number of individuals, organizations and industries facilitating those uses.
The ORG is currently forming a Speakers Bureau to educate Ohioans about cannabis (aka marijuana). Groups interested in securing speakers who are experts in this issue and the dynamics behind it may call 614-300-0529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
This press release can be viewed in PDF format here.