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Government & Politics

Ohio Senate Shelves the Plan to Have Pharmacists Regulate Medical Marijuana

Marijuana-plan changes
State lawmakers are scrapping a plan to have the Ohio Pharmacy Board regulate medical marijuana. Sen. David Burke, a pharmacist behind the idea, called the arrangement the most responsible way to oversee marijuana as medicine. But others raised concerns that the rare setup nationally would create an undue burden on the state. The  new plan would require pharmacists at dispensaries, but puts cultivation and processing under the state Commerce Department.

Notifying people of lead-water problems
Ohio is moving closer to forcing public water systems to alert residents within two days after lead is found at the tap. It's a key part of an overhaul rolled out by Ohio Gov. John Kasich'sadministration to change how the state and local water systems deal with lead in drinking water. The two-day notification would be a major switch from federal rules that give water plants 60 days to notify all residents. The head of the Ohio Water Utility Council – a water industry group -- is among those saying the proposed deadline is too short. It wants a five-day deadline. State senators could vote on the proposal this week.

Columbiana school referred for more investigation
Ohio’s auditor has referred a Columbiana County charter school to the Department of Education for enrollment and other discrepancies. The Utica Shale Academy, run by the Jefferson County Educational Services Center was one of more than three-dozen charters visited last November by state auditors, who did head counts and compared them to the number the schools said they enrolled. The report released yesterday says auditors found less than a third of claimed students were in the school. The school told auditors the attendance was low because they visited on a Friday, and the school’s flexible schedule means many students skip Mondays and Fridays. Overall, auditors found the biggest problems with the charter schools who identify themselves as dropout -recovery schools. Attendance ranged from 0 to about half the claimed enrollment. 

Lawsuit against Cleveland cop continues
A federal judge has refused to throw out the lawsuit by a Sagamore Hills man against a Cleveland police officer. The suit filed by Reginald Folks accuses officer Aaron Pettitt and others of excessive force during traffic stop in October 2012 in midtown. Folks had asked why he was getting a ticket for driving with a suspended license, a charge that was later dropped. Petitt ended up shoving his face into a windshield. In clearing the suit to go forward, the judge threw out some of the excessive-force claims but wrote that a “reasonable officer” would have known the body slam was unnecessary given that Folks was cooperating and the offense was minor and nonviolent.

Ohio's a good place for recent grads
Three Ohio cities made a recent list of the 25 best cities in the country for new college graduates. SmartAsset, a personal finance website, ranked Cincinnati first, Columbus third and Cleveland 25th. It says a cheap cost of living played in Cleveland’s favor. Cincinnati and Columbus got higher rankings for job availability and “life outside of work.”