Medical marijuana issue clears Ohio ballot board - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Medical marijuana issue clears Ohio ballot board

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - 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.

State Representative Bob Hagan told 21 News, although he is not directly affiliated with the petitioners, he knows money is needed to implement the petition idea.

"People have the right to challenge their government," Hagan said. "I am in favor of that but the legislature is just not willing to move on it."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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