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Medical Marijuana Issue Clears Ohio Ballot Hurdle

Backers of a ballot proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio have been cleared by the state attorney general to begin gathering the roughly 385,000 signatures needed to put it on the November ballot. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Friday that he has certified the first 1,000 valid signatures, and cleared summary petition language on the proposed Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment as fair and truthful. The amendment to Ohio's constitution would allow those with a debilitating medical condition to use, possess, produce and acquire marijuana and paraphernalia. Qualifying conditions include cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and Crohn's disease. It would authorize vendors to make and distribute the otherwise illegal drug and set up a state oversight commission. The proposal also would protect patients from violations of privacy, confidentiality and government interference.