Pubdate: Mon, 28 Mar 2016
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2016 Dayton Daily News
Author: Jackie Borchardt, The Plain Dealer


Measure Could Appear Before Ohio Voters in November.

COLUMBUS - Backers of a medical marijuana legalization measure 
cleared the initial hurdle in the process of placing an issue on the 
statewide ballot.

National group Marijuana Policy Project and its Ohio political action 
committee Ohioans for Medical Marijuana want to legalize marijuana 
use for certain medical conditions, with approval from a physician, 
through a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Friday certified the group's 
petition summary as a "fair and truthful" summary of the proposed 
law. DeWine rejected the group's initial petition language, and 
revised language included additional medical conditions that would 
qualify a person to use marijuana.

Next, the Ohio Ballot Board will decide within the next 10 days 
whether the proposal contains one or multiple amendments.

Then the petitioners need to collect at least 305,591 signatures of 
registered Ohio voters - meeting a minimum number in 44 of Ohio's 88 
counties - to qualify for the ballot. The deadline for the November 
ballot is July 6.

Here's what the group is proposing:

Adults could grow, buy, and use marijuana if a physician recommends 
marijuana for a qualifying medical condition such as cancer, seizure 
disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Minors could use 
marijuana with written permission of a parent or guardian.

Approved patients could buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana 
and grow up to six plants or designate another adult to grow for them.

The first 15 commercial growing licenses would be for largescale 
growers who pay a $500,000 application fee, but then there would be 
an unlimited number of licenses available for smalland medium-scale growers.

Marijuana Policy Project Mason Tvert said the group appreciated 
DeWine's guidance in revising the amendment and they look forward to 
getting their petition drive started as soon as possible.

"Ohio is one step closer to adopting a sensible medical marijuana law 
that ensures seriously ill people have safe and legal access to their 
medicine," Tvert said in a statement.

DeWine rejected medical marijuana language from two other groups 
earlier this month: Ohio Medical Cannabis Care and Grassroots Ohioans.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom