This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio House has passed a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

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

More stories on marijuana in Ohio here

Under the legislation, a nine-member Medical Marijuana Control Commission would set 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.

The bill passed on a 70-25 vote Tuesday. The Senate plans to begin hearings on the measure Wednesday.

Rep. Kirk Schuring led a special committee on the issue. He has said he expects the legislation to be enacted by the end of May.

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