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Morning Headlines: Ohio GOP Lawmaker to Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill; Statehouse Bills Aim to Restrict Teaching of Racism

A marijuana plant.
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A House Republican has announced plans to introduce a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Ohio. Jamie Callender from Lake County said the bill will legalize marijuana in Ohio for people 21 and older with a 10% sales tax on the product.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, October 13:

  • Ohio GOP Lawmaker to Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill
  • Ohio Bills Aimed at Restricting Teaching of Racism
  • Amazon to Build New Warehouse in Canton
  • Bibb Ahead of Kelley in Cleveland Mayoral Poll
  • Sen. Brown Endorses Rep. Tim Ryan for Senate
  • Biden Appoints Debra Shore to Lead EPA Midwestern Office

Ohio GOP Lawmaker to Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill
(AP) -- A House Republican has announced plans to introduce a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Ohio. Jamie Callender from Lake County said the bill will legalize marijuana in Ohio for people 21 and older with a 10% sales tax on the product. Callender says facilities currently producing medical marijuana would be grandfathered into the program, with new producers to be added to meet demand. A separate ballot initiative is also underway to legalize pot. That issue would make it legal for adults 21 and older to buy and possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow as many as six plants.

Ohio Bills Aimed at Restricting Teaching of Racism
(AP) -- A pair of Republican-backed bills in the Ohio House would restrict how the topic of racism is taught in K-12 schools. The legislation is part of a broader conservative backlash over critical race theory. That's a scholarly movement that examines U.S. history and modern society through a focus on the legacy of slavery, racism, and discrimination. Critical race theory is typically taught in law school and there's little evidence it's being promoted in Ohio classrooms. Among other things, the bills in the Ohio House would prevent teachers from promoting the concept that a member of one race bears responsibility for past deeds committed by persons of the same race.

Amazon to Build New Warehouse in Canton
(Canton Repository) -- Online retail giant Amazon is building a new $87 million warehouse on a former golf course in Canton. The Canton Repository reports that Mayor Thomas Bernabei made the long-rumored news official in a statement Tuesday. The Amazon fulfillment center is expected to create 1,000 jobs, and according to Bernabei, is “the largest employer brought to Canton in decades.” Construction of the 1 million-square-foot facility at the former Skyland Pines Golf Club is underway and is expected to open next year. Amazon last November opened a slightly smaller facility on the former Rolling Acres site in Akron. The company currently operates 10 fulfillment centers in Ohio, which, along with its 12 Whole Foods stores, employs around 41,000 Ohioans.

Bibb Ahead of Kelley in Cleveland Mayoral Poll
(WKSU) -- A new poll puts political newcomer Justin Bibb ahead of City Council President Kevin Kelley in the Cleveland mayoral race. The survey by Baldwin Wallace University puts Bibb up by 9 percentage points over Kelley, although a substantial number, 40% of respondents, remain undecided. The two, both Democrats, met Tuesday night for a final debate ahead of the Nov. 2nd election. One issue that separates them is a proposed charter amendment that would give the Cleveland Community Police Commission power to discipline and investigate law enforcement officers. Bibb favors it. Kelley opposes it. Pollsters talked to 419 registered voters with public safety and policing emerging as the most important topics.

Sen. Brown Endorses Rep. Tim Ryan for Senate
(Columbus Dispatch) — Sen. Sherrod Brown has endorsed fellow Democrat and current congressman Tim Ryan for the U.S. Senate, calling him an ally for working Ohioans. The Columbus Dispatch reports Ryan is vying for the Democratic nomination along with progressive attorney Morgan Harper. Democrats hope to flip the open Senate seat after GOP Sen. Rob Portman announced he will not seek reelection.

Biden Appoints Debra Shore to Lead EPA Midwestern Office
(AP) -- President Joe Biden has appointed Chicago wastewater official Debra Shore to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwestern office. Shore will oversee EPA’s Region 5, which includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — along with 35 indigenous tribes. The office oversees efforts to clean up the Great Lakes and deals with matters including industrial and agricultural pollution and tainted drinking water.