Proposal to legalize medical marijuana clears Ohio House

COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio House has passed a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

The fast-tracked bill would bar patients from smoking the substance but allow them to use it in vapor form. They couldn’t grow it at home.

Under the legislation, a nine-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission would set rules for cultivating, distributing and licensing cannabis. Communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries. Employers who want to maintain drug-free workplaces would be protected from liability.

The bill passed on a 71-26 vote Tuesday. The Senate plans to begin hearings on the measure Wednesday.

House leaders said they expect the legislation to reach to the governor’s desk by the end of May.

Lawmakers are seeking to head off a proposed November ballot issue supported by the national medical marijuana movement.