Jars of marijuana are on display in a booth at the 2014 High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver. (Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

Ohio House to vote on proposal to legalize medical marijuana

COLUMBUS — The Ohio House is preparing to vote on a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

The fast-tracked bill would bar patients from smoking the substance but allow them to use it in vapor form.

Under the legislation, a nine-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission would set the rules for cultivating, distributing and licensing cannabis. Communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries. Employers who want to maintain drug-free workplaces would be protected from liability.

Rep. Kirk Schuring chairs the House committee that approved the bill last week. The Canton Republican says he expects the legislation to be enacted by the end of May.

It’s unclear what changes might be made in the Senate.

Lawmakers seek to head off a proposed November ballot issue supported by the national medical marijuana movement.