Two separate groups have been given the go-ahead by the state ballot board to begin collecting the signatures needed to put a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana on the November ballot.
The Ohio Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2012 is backed primarily by patients, advocates and business people and would leave most decisions on regulating the drug to a state commission.
The Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment is backed primarily by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which advocates nationally for the complete legalization of the drug, and includes much more detail about regulations on how much marijuana could be obtained, who could grow it and where it could be distributed.
Supporters of both amendments have indicated that they expect the two versions to be reconciled into a single amendment before being placed on the ballot.
originally published in the Ohio Health Policy Review, January 27, 2012.