WCBE

Ballot Board Approves Medical Marijuana Issue As Ohio House Task Force Concludes Hearings

Supporters of medical marijuana may begin collecting signatures to put the issue on the November ballot in Ohio. 

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana cleared a legal hurdle yesterday when the Ohio Ballot Board approved the wording of its proposed issue. The group has until early July to collect more than 305 thousand valid petition signatures to get the measure before voters.  Meanwhile, an Ohio House task force has concluded seven public hearings on whether to legalize medicinal marijuana use. Columbus resident Tara Cordle told the panel her 10-year-old son, who has constant seizures, has been in and out of the hospital, and his medical bills have been 6.9 million dollars since 2012. And she wants him to be able to try medical marijuana that has helped children with his condition in other states where it is legal.

Former Democratic Ohio Supreme Court Justice Eric Brown told the 15 member panel patients like his son Daryn, who is in constant pain and in need of surgery, deserve the option of medical marijuana.

But Doctor Robert Hobbs with the Academy of Medicine in Northeast Ohio says more study is needed.

The 15 member task force, which includes lawmakers, supporters and opponents of medical marijuana, was comprised after a legalization measure failed at the ballot box last fall. House Republican leaders said there was sufficent public support to examine legalizing medicinal marijuana use.