Pubdate: Fri, 15 Apr 2016
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2016 Dayton Daily News
Author: Laura A. Bischoff


Second Group Gets Go-Ahead to Gather Signatures for Ballot.

COLUMBUS - A second grassroots group got the go-ahead on Thursday to 
circulate petitions to put a medical marijuana question before voters 
in November while lawmakers released more details of their plan.

The Ohio Ballot Board certified the "Medicinal Cannabis and 
Industrial Hemp Amendment," clearing the way for GrassrootsOhioans to 
collect 305,591 valid voter signatures by July 6 to qualify for the 
November ballot.

Another group, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, is already in the field 
collecting signatures to get its proposed constitutional amendment on 
the fall ballot.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, said he will hold 
hearings on House Bill 523 beginning Tuesday with the aim of getting 
the bill through the House by the end of April. The 66-page bill was 
released Thursday.

Schuring said Ohio's program will have guardrails that other states 
lack. For example, doctors who recommend medical marijuana to 
patients will be required to report every 90 days to the state: 
demographics of the patients using pot as medicine, what conditions 
were being treated, the form recommended such as oils, patch or 
edibles, and why marijuana was needed over conventional drug therapies.

Schuring said he wants those records to be available to the public.

He added that patients won't get a medical marijuana card as they do 
in other states. Instead, doctors will write recommendations that 
call for dispensing marijuana in a specific form - such as edibles or 
a patch - and only in supplies up to 90 days.

After years of debate and delay, lawmakers are hustling to hammer out 
a medical marijuana program that will be in state law. They want to 
head off the grassroots efforts, which would carve their terms into 
the Ohio Constitution, which is more difficult to change down the road.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom