DeWine certified the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Amendment, submitted by a citizens group led by Don E. Wirtshafter, an Athens County lawyer and longtime marijuana activist. It would allow use of marijuana by people with qualifying medical conditions and growing hemp plants for industrial use. Hemp is a cousin of marijuana but without the THC content that gives a euphoric feeling.
The next stop for the issue will be the Ohio Ballot Board whose sole function is to determine if proposed constitutional amendment should be a single issue or multiple issues on the ballot.
Wirtshafter’s group is taking the unusual step of pursuing both a constitutional amendment and an initiated statute. An initiated statute gives the state legislature a chance to act on the proposal. If that doesn’t happen, backers can take the issue directly to voters.
DeWine’s office previously approved wording for a proposal backed by the Marijuana Policy Project to allow about 215,000 patients with qualifying medical conditions to use marijuana as prescribed by a doctor, permit patients to grow marijuana for their own use or buy it from retail dispensaries, restrict the use of marijuana in public places or while driving, and create a state Medical Marijuana Control Division to oversee the system.
Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch, Friday April 8, 2016 5:29 AM
DeWine approved language for another medical pot ballot issue