Cleveland Plain Dealer. October 15, 2022.
Editorial: President Biden’s marijuana pardons – should Ohio follow suit?
Last week, using his constitutional pardoning power, President Joe Biden issued a blanket pardon for all those convicted of “simple marijuana possession” under federal law.
Biden noted, without further quantifying the matter, that the pardons would apply to “thousands … who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.”
But because most marijuana convictions are in the states, Biden further called on governors to follow his lead and pardon those previously convicted of simple possession. And, finally, he asked the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. attorney general to “expeditiously” review marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification under federal law – the top classification meant for the most dangerous substances.
Among those applauding these moves was U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, who praised Biden in a statement “for listening and rejecting the all-or-nothing approach demanded by so many in his own party.” Joyce also urged Congress to incentivize state and local expungements Biden.
Among those not applauding Biden’s moves was Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who accused Biden of playing politics by issuing his Oct. 6 executive order on pardons just a little over one month before the Nov. 8 midterm elections. “This move maybe makes sense in individual cases,” Yost said, as quoted by cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton, “but Biden’s blanket pardon 34 days before an election is the most political, cynical abuse of the pardon power in history.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said through spokesman Dan Tierney that DeWine would not be issuing pardons as Biden had requested – first, Tierney said, because Tierney didn’t believe anyone was currently incarcerated in Ohio for simple possession, now a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law; and second, because the governor lacks the blanket pardon power presidents possess.
Yet, as new Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has repeatedly underscored as he seeks a way to wipe more than 4,000 marijuana convictions off the books in Cleveland, this isn’t necessarily about freeing people from prison, but rather freeing them from the harsh economic, employment and housing implications of those convictions.
So what does our Editorial Board Roundtable think about Biden’s actions, and DeWine’s inactions? Is this a political stunt by Biden, or an important affirmation of the need for marijuana expungements, one that DeWine should heed, as well?
Toledo Blade. October 15, 2022.
Editorial: Honda picks Ohio, again
Patience in assembling an industrial site, a history of work force productivity, and a global pendulum swing back to manufacturing in America have paid off for Ohio. On the 45th anniversary of Honda’s monumental decision to manufacture in Ohio, the Japanese auto giant was once again at the Statehouse beside an Ohio governor to announce a new factory, this time in Fayette County.
Since company founder Soichiro Honda stood beside Ohio’s longest serving governor, James A. Rhodes, to announce the first Japanese plant in the United States at Marysville, 15,000 jobs have been created and 20 million cars produced from the partnership.
Honda’s decision to build a $3.5 billion battery plant on a 1,500-acre site within easy commuting distance from Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Chillicothe is just the latest dividend from that seminal economic development success. More than 2,200 new jobs will spring from the battery plant being built in partnership with LG Energy Solution. An additional 300 jobs and $700 million will be spent making Honda plants in Marysville, Anna, and East Liberty capable of EV production.
Tiny Fayette County, with 28,000 citizens, has waited two decades for Ohio’s largest “certified jobs ready site” to land a large employer like Honda. Ironically the property was pieced together from 10 family farms for a Honda site selection derby in 2002 that ultimately went to Greencastle, Ind.
It is great to see Fayette County finally reap the benefits of many years of hard work. One of the 10 electric vehicle battery plants going up in America will dramatically change the community. General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, and Toyota have all announced battery factory site decisions before Honda.
General Motors is working with LG Energy on battery production at the former Lordstown Assembly Plant near Youngstown. The Toledo Propulsion Plant has been selected for a $760 million upgrade to become the hub for electric drive systems, protecting the future of 1,500 local jobs.
In each of these decisions, the high quality of our work force, tested over time, has prompted automakers to increase their investment in Ohio. Combined with Intel’s decision to build as many as five semiconductor fabrication plants in Licking County, the investment in Ohio has never been greater.
State and national politicians are basking in the success and angling for all the credit, but in reality, global hostilities and supply chain disruptions have driven manufacturers to rediscover America.
Youngstown Vindicator. October 13, 2022.
Editorial: School safety is crucial for all Ohioans
This month is, for the first time, School Safety Month in Ohio. State officials kicked off what they hope will be an annual event with this year’s theme “Know School Safety, Know Your Role — It’s Everyone’s Responsibility.” It’s a bit of a mouthful, but the idea is important.
Too often we assume safety is someone else’s problem.
“Students, staff, parents and guardians all have an important role in promoting school safety by following safety procedures and reporting concerns,” said Emily Torok, executive director of the Ohio School Safety Center. “It is important to balance sufficient building security with a healthy, nurturing school environment that reassures students that although there is a possibility of violence occurring at school, the probability of a school experiencing a high-profile violent act is extremely low.”
To that end, school officials are spending October focusing on comprehensive safety, emotional safety, physical safety and knowing your role. They will be discussing topics such as how to stop bullying, “kindness matters” and bus safety as well. But perhaps one of the more important developments is the emphasis on reporting potential problems with the Safer Ohio School tip line, available by calling or texting 844-723-3764 (844-SaferOH).
We all want our kids to learn and grow in schools where they feel and ARE safe. That can’t be something we leave in someone else’s hands. It is up to all of us. We might spend October talking about it, but we’ve got to do our part all year long.
The Associated Press