Auditor Dave Yost characterized the Department of Commerce's roll-out
of its share of the fledgling program as "sloppy" with dozens of
errors and inconsistencies. The program was supposed to be fully
operational Sept. 8, but the state is months behind in having legal
product on the shelves for purchase.
"The department didn't do a very good job launching this program," Mr.
Yost said. "It did not exercise due diligence to make sure Ohioans
could have complete confidence in the process. The department's work
was sloppy. Ohioans deserved better."
[continues 368 words]
COLUMBUS - Mike DeWine, Ohio's attorney general and Republican
candidate for governor, on Monday denounced as "irresponsible and
dangerous" a proposed constitutional amendment to downgrade low-level,
non-violent drug felonies to misdemeanors.
He stood with prosecutors, judges, treatment center operators, and
addicts to argue that Issue 1 would remove the stick that gets addicts
into treatment as an alternative to prison time.
"This threat, carefully used by our judges, has saved thousands and
thousands of lives," Mr. DeWine said. "Issue 1 would take that away,
and thousands would remain in the grips of opioids by not getting the
treatment they need to recover. Because the truth is that some people
just don't go into treatment unless they are pushed to do it. There's
nothing humane about Issue 1."
[continues 587 words]
Northwest Ohio Syringe Services has begun distributing fentanyl test
strips to active users of opioids and other drugs. The exchange, a
program through the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, is part of
a larger strategy of harm reduction to keep people with addiction
issues healthy while using, and provide them with resources and help
when they want to seek treatment.
Fentanyl has become the scourge of anyone trying to fight Ohio's
opioid epidemic: deadly in small quantities and appearing in an
increasing number of fatal overdoses.
[continues 661 words]
Reports that President Donald Trump now supports state-level marijuana
regulation have primed him for an easy bipartisan win, which may also
afford him a lane for further victories down the line.
Senator Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), who has been blocking several of Mr.
Trump's Justice Department nominees after Attorney General Jeff
Sessions rescinded an earlier Justice Department memo that protected
marijuana operations in states like Colorado from federal law
enforcement, has announced that he will end his blockade. He says that
President Trump promised him "that he will support a federalism-based
legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for
[continues 342 words]
The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for
physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the
legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.
Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for
medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can
be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical
Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of
Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal
under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.
[continues 323 words]
State health officials issued a public warning Friday about a severe
bleeding outbreak in the Midwest that has been linked to synthetic
marijuana contaminated with a rat poison ingredient.
No cases have been reported in Ohio as of Friday.
A total of 94 people have exhibited symptoms in the past month in
Most were in Illinois, which has reported 89 cases, including two
deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cases also have been reported in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland, and
there is a suspected case in Pennsylvania.
[continues 230 words]
CINCINNATI -- Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a
change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide
Known as an avid cigarette smoker, the Ohio Republican has joined the
advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a multistate cannabis company. The
company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has
joined its advisory board.
Boehner says in a statement his position "has evolved" from opposition
to legalizing marijuana. He says he believes legalizing marijuana can
be helpful to the nation's veterans and as a way to help fight the
U.S. opioid drug crisis. He wants to see federally funded research
done and to allow Veterans Affairs to offer marijuana as a treatment
Boehner also says the move would curtail federal-state conflict on
Books, CDs, tennis balls, and a box of candy are just some of the
places in which drugs, drug paraphernalia, and sexually-explicit
photographs are hidden in this scene.
A permanent marker, a hair brush, a tennis ball, a decorative wooden
plaque bearing the word "faith." All are seemingly innocuous items in
a teenage girl's bedroom.
But each was hiding a secret during the "Hidden in Plain Sight"
training offered by Lucas County Children Services and the Drug Abuse
Response Team of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office. Dozens of
attendees, most of them employees with children services, rifled
through the simulated bedroom Tuesday to search for more than 50
hidden items indicative of risky behavior like drug use and sexual
[continues 574 words]
President Trump's proposal to invoke the death penalty for drug
traffickers is an idea that is, in the practical scheme of things,
unworkable. It is also probably unconstitutional and obviously
simplistic. It is a gimmick, not a policy.
We need a policy.
The president likes dramatic gestures for difficult problems - a ban
on all potential terrorists, a big wall next to Mexico, a 25-percent
tariff on steel. This is not an altogether bad instinct. We need
strong, decisive leaders and criminals need to fear punishment.
[continues 438 words]
A Whitehall man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison and
ordered to pay nearly $25,000 in restitution for a series of crimes
related to his proposal to create a residential treatment center for
recovering alcoholics and drug addicts on the Near East Side of Columbus.
Johnny R. Marcum, 47, of Pierce Avenue, pleaded guilty last month to
three counts of identity fraud, four counts of passing bad checks, one
count of forgery, two counts of theft and one count of tampering with
[continues 253 words]
Ohio's drug overdose deaths rose 39 percent -- the third-largest
increase among the states -- between mid-2016 and mid-2017, according
to new federal figures.
The state's opioid crisis continued to explode in the first half of
last year, with 5,232 Ohio overdose deaths recorded in the 12 months
ending June 31, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The death toll increased by 1,469 or 39 percent, which trailed only
the 43.4-percent hike in Pennsylvania and 39.4-percent increase
recorded in Florida. Ohio's total number of dead also only fell behind
Florida (5,540) and Pennsylvania (5,443).
[continues 297 words]
Eighteen businesses have applied for medical marijuana dispensary
licenses in Lucas County, with Maumee and Holland joining Toledo as
communities where businesses hope to sell medicinal pot, according to
the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
The board received 376 applications for a maximum of 60 possible
licenses, though some businesses filed applications for multiple
sites. The state has also split Ohio into four regional districts, and
northwest Ohio will only receive 10 dispensary licenses, with 39
applications competing for those spots.
The restrictions are even more complex, though, as each region is
broken down further into districts. Lucas County, for instance, will
only receive two dispensaries, creating heavy competition among the 18
applications in Toledo, Maumee, and Holland. A district made up of
Wood, Hancock and Henry counties will only get one. Three firms have
applied to open in Wood County, and no companies have applied to open
a dispensary in Hancock or Henry counties.
[continues 263 words]