How will Ohio know gun owners don’t use medical pot? The honor system

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 12:20 PM


            John Thyne, owner of Peabody Sports in Clearcreek Twp., Warren County, is a federally licensed dealer. Here, he discusses gun background checks and internet sales of firearms. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
John Thyne, owner of Peabody Sports in Clearcreek Twp., Warren County, is a federally licensed dealer. Here, he discusses gun background checks and internet sales of firearms. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Once Ohio’s medical marijuana program gets off the ground, the state will rely on the honor system to ensure those seeking concealed-carry permits aren’t also licensed to use pot for medical reasons.

Federal law prohibits cannabis users from possessing a gun or getting a CCW, but background checks conducted before Ohioans buy firearms or get a concealed-carry permit won’t indicate whether or not someone is registered as a medical marijuana user.

The medical marijuana patient registry will be accessible only to qualified doctors, Ohio Board of Pharmacy spokesman Cameron McNamee said.

RELATED: No guns: Ohio’s medical marijuana users won’t be able to have firearms

“The patient registry itself is protected information and only those doctors who are certified will be able to access the patient registry,” he said.

If someone purchases medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary, that information will be entered into the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System to make sure someone doesn’t buy more than the legal limit of a 90-day supply. But access to OARRS is limited to doctors and pharmacists.

“It’s locked down pretty tight,” McNamee said.

Law enforcement and heathcare regulators – such as medical board or board of pharmacy investigators — only have access to these systems if they have an active drug investigation, McNamee said. They can’t take the data in bulk or go fishing for names.

RELATED: Next step taken in Ohio medical marijuana: 5 things you should know

This means the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) won’t have that information. NICS is the system used by licensed gun dealers and law enforcement agencies that issue concealed-carry permits to make sure someone is legally allowed to possess a gun.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office this week confirmed that Ohioans who use marijuana – even legally under state law – are prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit.

“Ohio CCW law requires persons to follow federal law,” spokesman Dan Tierney said. “Federal law prohibits you from having a firearm if you use marijuana because it’s a Schedule 1 drug.”

Gun buyers who purchase from a licensed dealer must sign a form attesting they don’t use marijuana, even medically. Lying on the form is a felony under federal law, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

But Ohio law doesn’t require a background check or federal form for same-state private firearm transactions, including many guns sold online or at gun shows, as long as the seller has no reason to believe the buyer is prohibited from possessing a gun.

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Mike Turner wants groomsman, fellow congressman deposed in divorce hearings

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 10:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner files for divorce

Dayton Congressman Mike Turner wants California Congressman Darrell Issa deposed in his divorce proceedings, according to POLITICO.

Turner filed for divorce from his wife Majida Mourad after a year and a half of marriage.

Issa was a groomsman at the wedding in Dayton in 2015.

POLITICO says Turner gave Issa a letter in the Capitol last week asking him to give a deposition, according to unnamed sources.

We have reached out to Congressman Turner’s office for a response.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL POLITICO STORY HERE

Mourad’s attorney, Sanford Ain, said in a statement to POLITICO Monday that Turner “may have” told “third parties” that she was unfaithful, “thinking it would advantage him in the divorce.” But any claim of infidelity by Mourad “has no basis in fact,” Ain said.

Darrell Issa and Mike Turner. Ap Photo by J Scott Applewhite

“Because it has been raised, Ms. Mourad was never unfaithful to Congressman Turner during the marriage, before or after Congressman Turner filed for divorce. Any allegation of her being unfaithful to Congressman Turner is simply false and defamatory,” Ain said.

POLITICO reports that Mourad and Issa have been friends for 20 years, but there is nothing more to their relationship, according a a source close to Mourad.

“There is no truth whatsoever to these allegations,” Issa said in a statement.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Congressman Mike Turner’s soon-to-be-ex-wife

Turner filed for divorce in May and asked that Mourad be restrained from taking any of their assets, according to a divorce filing made in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Congressman Mike Turner(Associated Press)

RELATED: Turner says fiancee’s business dealings pose no conflict

“Ms. Turner is guilty of a fraudulent contract,” according to the filing, which does not elaborate on what that means.

Mourad was a registered lobbyist for the liquid natural gas export company Cheniere Energy Inc.

RELATED: Mike Turner files for divorce

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Gov. Kasich orders flags at half-staff to honor slain officers

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 9:36 AM

Ohio’s governor on Monday ordered flags flown at half-staff around the state to honor two police officers killed over the weekend in suburban Columbus.
The order from Republican Gov. John Kasich applies to flags at public properties and will be in place until the officers are interred.
The order came hours before police in suburban Westerville were slated to escort the bodies of 39-year-old Eric Joering and 54-year-old Anthony Morelli from a coroner’s office to separate funeral homes. Officials invited the public to line the route.
Westerville police haven’t announced funeral details.
The officers were shot Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a townhome where the 30-year-old suspect was wounded.
Officials said Sunday that suspect Quentin Smith was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive.
He’s charged with aggravated murder. Municipal court records didn’t show an attorney for him.
Smith was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 on a burglary conviction with an added enhancement of having a gun. He left prison in 2011 and was released from parole, called community control in Ohio, in November 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

-Associated Press

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Ohio Republican Party endorses DeWine for governor; Renacci for Senate

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 1:17 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 2:47 PM


            Mike DeWine and Jim Renacci
Mike DeWine and Jim Renacci

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Taylor laced into her primary opponent, Mike DeWine, in a 4-minute speech to the Ohio Republican Party state central committee on Friday, calling DeWine a “shill for the entrenched special interests.”

“He’s a career politician who has been on the state ballot in each of the last five decades, and has a liberal voting record as long as the line of babies he has kissed and hands he has shook,” she said. “After 42 years on the public dole, he is soft on protecting your second amendment rights, soft on getting conservative judges appointed, and soft on immigration.”

She warned the Ohio GOP against the DeWine “coronation” and backing a candidate whose “entire campaign is based on the air of inevitability.”

Then she lost the state party endorsement.

Related: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says she hasn’t spoken to Kasich in a year

The committee voted 59-2 to back DeWine and his running mate Jon Husted. DeWine had no comment on Taylor’s speech, other than to say voters don’t want to hear internal squabbles.

Related: DeWine has big money lead in governor’s race

Another fight played out over who would get the endorsement in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate: multi-millionaire business owner and political newcomer Mike Gibbons or multi-millionaire business owner and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.

Renacci won it with 46 votes while Gibbons earned three votes and Columbus area businesswoman Melissa Ackison received two votes.

Gibbons missed the meeting because he attended a ceremony at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida for his son Ryan Gibbons, who was earning his Naval Aviator wings. Speaking on his behalf was former state lawmaker Joy Padgett who said “Ohio primary voters should determine who the Republican nominee for United States Senate should be…Let the primary process proceed.”

Padgett discounted rumors that the National Republican Senate Committee would only back Renacci in the general election against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown. Padgett said it is “simply an empty threat. It doesn’t pass the smell test. This is Ohio.”

Renacci, back in Ohio after voting in the early morning hours for a federal budget package, said he has a proven track record of beating incumbent Democrats and asked the 66-member Ohio GOP central committee to back him. “Together we can send Sherrod Brown packing forever,” he said.

Piling up endorsements helps politicos show their strength and the biggest plum is if a candidate can land backing from the state party, which often brings foot soldiers, funding and other logistical support.

Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Murphy Timken, who took over party leadership a year ago with a pledge of not picking winners or losers, said the endorsements were the decision of the committee — not the chair. “From my perspective preventing an endorsement is just as much of tipping the scales as pushing for an endorsement. It was a fair and open process,” she said.

Related: Ohio Senate passes major changes to congressional redistricting

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper delighted in the Republican Party’s internal squabbles.

“As DeWine and Taylor trade barbs in the press, the Ohio Republican primary continues to be a nasty, chaotic and divisive race to the extreme right, with the candidates dueling for the blessing of Donald Trump, while running away from John Kasich. Whoever wins this primary will have to deal with the wreckage of a divided Ohio Republican Party,” he said in a written release.

Taylor said recently that DeWine and Husted are out of touch and she wouldn’t vote for DeWine.

The committee also voted to endorse: Dave Yost for attorney general, Keith Faber for auditor, and Frank LaRose for secretary of state. The committee voted to back state Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, over Ashtabula County Republican Sandy O’Brien in the state treasurer’s race.

O’Brien, who lost a statewide race for treasurer to Democrat Rich Cordray in 2006, told the central committee that just 13 of 107 Republicans holding statewide or legislative office are women and there is an “institutional bias” in endorsements and funding that works against female candidates.

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Local Republican lawmakers trade accusations of ‘political ambition,’ ‘strange insult’

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 5:03 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 5:03 PM

State Rep. Niraj Antani and State Rep. Jim Butler
State Rep. Niraj Antani and State Rep. Jim Butler

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, is accusing State Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, of lining up another Republican to run against Antani in the May primary in an effort to clear his path for a state Senate run.

“I would hope that his unbridled potlitical ambition isn’t causing him to run a primary opponent against another Republican,” said Antani. “In a year that is traditionally bad for the party that controls the White House — that’s us — we should be focused on beating the Democrats and retaining our majorities instead of ripping other Republicans down.”

MORE: Antani, anti-abortion group urge court to act against Kettering clinic

Butler called that “a very strange insult coming from someone who has held political jobs his entire adult life and tells everyone he cannot wait to become governor.”

“I did not recruit either of Niraj Antani’s primary opponents,” Butler said. “I think that it is too bad that Niraj Antani apparently thinks that the voters should not have a choice in the May primary election.”

Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg

Antani believes Butler is behind the decision by Miamisburg Vice Mayor Sarah Clark, to file petitions Wednesday to run in the 42nd House seat Antani has held since he was picked by the Montgomery County Republican Party in 2014 to run for the seat after the death of Rep. Terry Blair, R-Washington Twp. Antani had no primary opponent in 2016.

Antani called it it is “unfortunate” that Butler has contributed to the non-profit Commonsense Solutions for Ohio headed by Clark, who is in her ninth year on Miamisburg City Council.

RELATED: Three-term councilwoman elected new vice mayor of Miamisburg

Clark, executive director of the conservative advocacy group, said Butler contributed $12,5oo in seed money to get it started and she made the decision to run against Antani on her own.

State Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood. CHRIS STEWART/STAFF

“This is political paranoia on the part of Niraj Antani,” said Clark. ” I think he is planning to run for Senate in two years and I think that he thinks that Jim is also planning to run for Senate in two years.”

Butler confirmed that in 2020 he plans to seek the Senate seat now held by term-limited State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering. Antani said he is focused on the house race.

Marcus Rech of Miamisburg also filed in the 42nd district Republican primary. Miamisburg residents Zach Dickerson and Autumn J. Kerns filed to run in the Democratic primary, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

John McManus, Dayton school board vice president

The 42nd district includes Moraine, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Germantown and part of Centerville, and Washington, Miami and German townships.

RELATED: Butler and Zeltwanger: Proposed regional airports would attract businesses

Butler has no primary opposition in the 41st district, which includes Kettering, Oakwood and parts of Centerville, Dayton and Riverside. He will face Dayton School Board member John McManus, a Democrat, in November.

Sarah Clark

RELATED: Dayton school board vice president announces run for state legislature

Other local statehouse races shaping up

Republican incumbents hold all but one of the Dayton region’s 16 House seats.

The only Democrat is Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, who faces a 39th district Democratic primary challenge from Walter J. Hickman Jr. of Dayton. No Republican filed in the race.

RELATED: Democratic leader says state tax cuts lead to higher local taxes

The 39th district includes most of the city of Dayton and Jefferson Twp.

Two Democrats and one Republican filed for the 40th District to replace term-limited State Rep. Mike Henne, R-Clayton.

They include Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, who also is chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, and Democrats Albert Griggs Jr., of Huber Heights and Ryan Taylor of Dayton.

RELATED: Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer to run for Ohio House

The 40th district includes Huber Heights, Vandalia, Englewood and parts of Dayton, Riverside, Union and Butler and Clay townships

In the 43rd district race Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, is unchallenged in the Democratic primary. Republican voters will choose between Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning and Jeffrey Todd Smith of Germantown.

RELATED: Rezabek to seek judgeship, opens up hot race for Ohio House seat and Dan Foley confirms he’s running

The 43rd district includes Trotwood, part of Dayton, Clayton, Brookville, New Lebanon and Harrison, Jackson and Perry townships, and all of Preble County.

Greene County

In Greene County State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, is being challenged by Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the Republican primary for the 73rd district. The winner would face Democrat Kim McCarthy of Xenia.

The 73rd district includes Beavercreek, Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Bellbrook and surrounding western Greene County townships.

State Rep. Bill Dean, R-Xenia is unopposed in the 74th district primary and in November will face the winner of a Democratic primary pitting Anne Gorman of Plain City against Steve W. Key of Wilberforce.

The 74th district includes Xenia, Cedarville and all of eastern Greene County as well as northeastern Clark County and all of Madison County

Miami County

A crowded field of Republicans will vie in the primary for the chance to challenge write-in Democrat Scott R. Zimmerman of Troy for the seat now held by State. Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, who is running for Ohio Senate.

The Republican primary includes Miami County Commissioner John W. “Bud” O’Brien of Troy, J.D. Winteregg, a Troy man who previously ran for Congress, Jena Powell of Arcanum and George H. Lovett of Tipp City.

The 80th district includes all of Miami County and southern Darke County.

Warren County

In Warren County, State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, R-Mason, will face Democrat Nikki Foster of Mason in November in the 54th. State Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, faces Daniel Kroger of Springboro in the 62nd district Republican Party primary. The winner would compete against Democrat Jim Staton of Springboro in November.

Candidates won’t know if they actually make the May 8 primary ballot until the local boards of election certify by Feb. 19 that they have at least 50 valid signatures of registered voters on their nominating petitions.

RELATED: Who is running for Congress locally? Field is taking shape

Republicans hold large majorities in both the Ohio House and the Senate but Democrats are fielding candidates in all 99 House races and hoping to ride a mid-term wave of voter dissatisfaction and regain some seats.

“I always think that recruitment is one of the best signs of a party’s chance to win more elections,” said Christopher Devine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton. “Candidates tend to not run if they think they’re going to be unable to win. So if you see all these Democrats running for office that would suggest to me that Democrats in general really think they have a better shot this year.”

Other stories by Lynn Hulsey

Former male stripper from Dayton makes another run for Ohio governor

Ohio Supreme Court ruling against abortion clinics could impact Kettering clinic

U.S. Sen. Portman criticizes Trump for calling Democrats ‘treasonous’ during his Cincinnati visit

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