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Ohio Medical Marijuana Campaign Suspends 2016 Legalization Effort

The Ohioans for Medical Marijuana campaign has suspended a petition drive to put a medical cannabis constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot, according to a report.

The decision follows the successful passing of a piece of medical marijuana legislation through the state House and Senate. The bill now awaits Gov. John Kasich’s signature. The governor hasn’t indicated yet whether or not he will sign, but a super majority of Ohio voters support medical cannabis and he is expected to either sign the proposal or ignore it, allowing the bill to automatically become law after 10 days.

Though the campaign originally announced the proposal would only bolster their efforts for a voter initiative this fall, the Ohioans for Medical Marijuana campaign has rescinded that notion.

The lawmakers’ bill doesn’t include everything the MPP-backed campaign wished for: patients will not be allowed to smoke or grow their own cannabis. Instead, dispensaries around the state will offer tinctures, concentrates and edible products.

“We make this decision with a heavy heart as we will surely disappoint our many volunteers, supporters and patient-advocates who invested considerable time and effort in our movement,” said campaign manager Brandon Lynaugh in a statement announcing the petition drive’s end.

“The legislature’s action on medical marijuana was a step forward, and thanks to the intense advocacy efforts of patients and their families, activists and our team the bill was vastly improved before passage,” Lynaugh said.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger was pleased with the news and said that it indicated a healthy, communicative relationship between the Ohio legislature and state voters.

“Thanks to the open and transparent process that began in the Ohio House in which voices from all sides of the debate were invited to testify, we were able to join together around a proposal that is both reflective of public opinion and protective of the state’s constitution,” Rosenberger said.

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