(RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)

Hold the phone: Ohio Senate weighing changes to medical marijuana bill

COLUMBUS — A state Senate panel is weighing changes to a proposal that would legalize Ohio medical marijuana.

The bill would bar patients from smoking the substance but allow them to use it in vapor form. They couldn’t grow it at home. Communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries, and employers who want to maintain drug-free workplaces would be protected from liability.

The bill would create a nine-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission to set rules for cultivating, distributing and licensing cannabis.

The House passed the legislation last week, though the Senate’s government oversight committee is considering changes.

The fast-tracked bill is expected to reach to the governor by the end of May.

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