Editorials from around Ohio


Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Findlay) Courier, April 16

One way or another, it appears Ohioans who need it will have marijuana in their medicine cabinet. The only questions may be how soon and by whose rules.

A bill introduced this week in the Legislature would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana edibles, patches, plant material and oils, but doesn’t allow for the smokable form.

It also prohibits patients from growing their own…

If approved, many of the rules governing distribution, including who can grow it, would be left to a new state commission. Rules would be created within one year to regulate pot farms, dispensaries, laboratories, processors, and physicians.

The first pot prescriptions could be available by 2018…

Lawmakers should be commended for at least tackling the issue. Polls have shown strong support for medical marijuana in Ohio, and pro-pot groups have vowed to keep pushing the issue.

But it’s rare for any bill to proceed on such a pace, let alone one with as many moving parts as medical marijuana…

Having a law regarding medical marijuana which can be easily revisited if problems arise would be a better way to proceed than by amending the Constitution.

Still, the onus is clearly on lawmakers to deliver an acceptable bill. If they can’t, it’s likely voters will take on the task in November.

Online:

http://bit.ly/1WzvA5H

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The (Newark) Advocate, April 9

Imagine the national outrage if 47,055 Americans … died from terrorist attacks in one year…

That’s how many Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014…

More than half of those deaths involved opioids, a class of drugs including legal pain killers and heroin. Ohio recorded 2,482 overdose deaths that year, including 23 in Licking County, based on preliminary numbers…

President Barack Obama rejoined the debate recently, announcing a wide range of efforts focusing on far more than just the criminal aspects of substance abuse, including expanded treatment efforts and ensuring health coverage for substance abuse and mental health are sufficient.

While we welcome the president’s renewed efforts and focus on the role mental health plays in addiction, we fear the new plan is insufficient given the explosive growth of heroin addiction alone…

One place the president would be smart to look at for ideas is Ohio, which has made measurable progress in controlling legal drugs in recent years despite the state’s death count rising.

Prescriptions for painkillers dropped 12 percent last year, while doctor shopping fell 71 percent thanks to a computerized reporting system designed to stop people from getting multiple painkiller prescriptions…

Imagine how many more would have died or progressed to illegal drugs without these steps and aggressive use of drugs that can reverse overdoses…

Online:

http://ohne.ws/23Qx1ia

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Akron Beacon Journal, April 14

Ohio’s economy is improving, but its job growth rate is not as robust as in many other states. More, households here earn less than the national average. That raises understandable questions about the state’s role in economic development, especially the role of JobsOhio, the privatized job-creation operation launched by Gov. John Kasich.

Greta Johnson and Kent Smith are right in looking for answers. The Democratic state representatives, from, respectively, Akron and Euclid, have introduced what they call the “Ohio Jobs Guarantee.” It would bring the workings of JobsOhio into the open, providing the accountability now lacking.

What Johnson and Smith have in mind is giving the state auditor the authority to conduct full audits of JobsOhio…

Johnson and Smith note that since the start of JobsOhio, private-sector job growth has been 9.3 percent, or 22nd in the country, behind Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. What, precisely, has JobsOhio contributed?

Questions about JobsOhio’s performance are especially relevant given recent raises given to its executives…

.. The jobs attracted by JobsOhio last year averaged about $46,600 a year, or $800 below the statewide average and $8,300 behind the national average…

Given the need for greater job growth in Ohio, the amount of public money involved and the possible conflicts of interest, citizens deserve to know far more about what JobsOhio is doing with their money than they do now…

Online:

http://bit.ly/1MBHqKj

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The Lima News, April 10

Contract negotiations have always been about give and take for America’s mighty automobile industry.

At the end of November’s negotiations, Ford workers were feeling pretty good about the wage and benefit packages the UAW leadership hammered out. Then came Tuesday, and the union saw themselves being shoved into the back seat of a Ford Focus. The automaker announced it would be building a new $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico, creating about 2,800 jobs on the other side of Donald Trump’s wall.

It left union members wondering what just smacked them. The best UAW President Dennis Williams could say was the announcement was “very troubling.” He proclaimed the jobs “should have been available right here in the USA.”

…The raises negotiated by the UAW four months ago were a huge win for U.S. workers. However, the tradeoff was the union essentially agreed to sacrifice thousands of future jobs in exchange for immediate financial gain…

Bottom line: Higher wages come with a price. They may be well deserved, but somehow they have to be paid for. And the cost of last November’s new UAW contract just included sending 2,800 jobs to Mexico.

Online:

http://bit.ly/1S3MzLi

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