Senate Panel Nears Vote on Measure to Block Pot from Ballot

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio Senate panel is nearing action on a fast-moving anti-monopoly proposal that could block a marijuana legalization amendment headed for this fall’s ballot.

The powerful Rules & Reference Committee, chaired by Senate president Keith Faber, has scheduled testimony and a possible vote Monday or Tuesday on the resolution. The measure would make it more difficult to insert amendments into Ohio’s constitution that deliver commercial economic benefits to few people or create monopolies.

The House approved the measure by the required three-fifths majority Wednesday. Senate approval by Aug. 5 would place the anti-monopoly question alongside ResponsibleOhio’s pot legalization proposal this fall. Opponents say marijuana growing locations in the plan benefit private interests.

Ohio’s elections chief says the anti-monopoly measure will trump the marijuana measure if it receives more votes.