Medical marijuana issue clears Ohio ballot board


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and certain uses of hemp has cleared Ohio’s ballot board.

The panel’s approval Thursday sends the issue into its signature-gathering phase, with a 2014 vote most likely. The deadline for this fall’s ballot is July 6.

Proponents of the Ohio Cannibis Rights Amendment must first collect roughly 385,000 signatures in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties to get the issue before voters. Three previous marijuana-related issues have been cleared by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine since 2011 but stalled.

The most recently cleared measure would establish a commission to regulate the use of medical marijuana and permit Ohioans to grow hemp for uses including paper, clothing, food and as a building material.

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