Marijuana plants fill a room at a Denver warehouse in March 2014. (John Leyba, Denver Post file)

That was close: Ohio medical marijuana proposal squeaks by Senate panel

Ohio is getting closer and closer to legalizing medical marijuana before lawmakers' summer recess

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A proposal to legalize Ohio medical marijuana has squeaked through a critical Senate panel over opposition of some Republicans and Democrats.

Update: Ohio medical marijuana bill heading to Gov. John Kasich

The Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee’s 7-to-5 vote Wednesday sets the stage for probable passage of the bill out of both legislative chambers by the end of the day. State lawmakers are rushing the bill out before their summer recess as ammunition against a well-funded medical marijuana issue working its way to fall ballots.

The final bill bars patients from smoking or growing marijuana for medical use, but allows its use in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions.

Late changes to the measure bar dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a daycare center, rather than the earlier 500 feet, and prohibit housing discrimination against patients.