Medical cannabis for Browns/Bengals fans? Plus, mass incarceration and form letters

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Sweet relief? Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias is reporting, “Officials with Ohio’s medical marijuana program on Tuesday revealed 27 conditions that Ohioans requested be added to a state list of qualifying conditions to receive a medical-marijuana recommendation from a doctor.

    One of them was Cincinnati Bengals / Cleveland Browns fandom.

    “Officials didn’t say who made the request or whether they considered it serious.

    “The rest of the requests involve legitimate health issues or conditions. Requested additions include depression, Epstein-Barr Virus (which causes mono), gastroesophageal reflux disease and insomnia.”

    Mass incarceration. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly and 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals Judge Ray Headen have an opinion piece for Cleveland.com about creating a centralized criminal-sentencing database to reduce mass incarceration in Ohio:

    “Reducing mass incarceration in Ohio is now not only a priority of urban black and brown communities but is also increasingly a priority among a growing number of Ohio business owners and job creators who view it as being in Ohio’s best economic interest…

    “As two members of our state’s judiciary, we write to include our names in support along with the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission for the creation of a centralized criminal database and repository to track all criminal sentences in Ohio. The commission has stated that criminal justice data in Ohio ‘is disparate, mismatched, and complex, and lacks the capacity to fully and completely narrate the comprehensive criminal justice story in Ohio.’

    “With a sentencing database, the Ohio General Assembly would be arming judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and Ohio’s citizens with information that is currently unavailable to them, and that would make the administration of justice more fair, equitable, and most importantly, transparent.”

    How formal. The Dayton Daily News’ Laura A. Bischoff has a story about how, after the Aug. 4. Dayton shooting, gun violence prevention advocates sent a bunch of form letters to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, and his office sent a form letter of its own right back:

    “Pro-gun control writers sent nearly identical letters to Householder, calling for universal background checks and a red flag law.

    “In response, public records requested by the Dayton Daily News shows Householder’s staff sent the same one-page form letter that said the current system works, existing laws should be enforced, additional laws aren’t needed.”

    Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch editorial board writes, “The failure of the Ohio General Assembly to do anything at all to prevent gun violence deeply dishonors that institution. Even the smallest measures that would have zero impact on Second Amendment rights fail, year after year.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.