Editorial roundup


Akron Beacon Journal, Nov. 13

…The Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuits … released a thoughtful, comprehensive list of recommendations for all police departments in the state to follow.

… First, the advisory group recommends that each department review its policy, carefully weighing a wide range of factors, among them the seriousness of the offense, whether the subject could be apprehended later and the level of training for officers. The recommendations include limiting the number of chase vehicles, reviewing policies on using deadly force and determining when such things as roadblocks and spike strips can be used safely.

The group urges that the attorney general and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission require that mandatory professional training for all law enforcement agencies include best pursuit practices and safe driving techniques and that information on police chases be collected in a central database and used to determine new and better procedures.

As Mike DeWine noted, law enforcement officers must weigh carefully the risk posed to the public by a vehicle chase against the danger posed by a suspect remaining at large who could be apprehended later. That principle, and the sound policy recommendations in the report, apply to all departments, large and small.

Not only should public safety be the top concern, but vehicular pursuit policies should be designed to ease tensions between officers and suspects instead of escalating them…

Online: http://bit.ly/2eSYGKI

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The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, Nov. 13

Slowly but sure, marijuana legalization is coming across the country. Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio as of Sept. 8. Yet many locations … are working hard to make it illegal to get medical marijuana into the hands of those with a prescription.

Communities … across the state are taking advantage of a loophole in the state’s medical marijuana law that allows individual municipalities to ban the cultivation, processing or dispensing of medical marijuana. This comes at a time when measures in four states passed … making recreational marijuana legal…

When it comes to recreational use, we have taken a wait and see approach about whether it is a good idea — even as it seems inevitable. On the other hand, the use and legalization of medical marijuana has been growing for years and is something state lawmakers and most members of the public support…

… If medical marijuana is made impossible to get legally in all but a few places … the spirit of that law and that compromise is being broken. …It forces those with legal prescriptions to turn to alternative options … inadvertently creating a de facto black market…

Medicinal marijuana is legal in 27 other states, and as communities work to deal with that new reality, slapping a ban on it under the guise that “all drugs are bad” is not going to prove to be a successful long-term strategy.

Online: http://bit.ly/2eSVIWJ

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The (Toledo) Blade, Nov. 12

The case the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard about a disabled Michigan child who was forbidden to bring her service dog to school turns on the details of complex federal laws. But the bigger question it raises is: When should the courts be open to parents who say the schools have mistreated their children?

… (The child’s) parents pulled her from the school and sued, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act. But they didn’t go through the full administrative process in front of local and state educational officials that’s required to challenge a student’s individualized education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The question before the Supreme Court is whether they had to do that before suing, even if they only want damages for emotional distress, which the idea process can’t provide.

The IDEA process has value in some cases, where educational expertise is important and the family is still trying to have a constructive relationship with the school district. It provides a forum in which experts can figure out how best to educate that student in that district. But it’s not appropriate when the school district’s behavior has been so bad that the family has cut ties with the district and is seeking only compensation for its mistreatment of the student. For such cases, the federal courts should be open, and you shouldn’t have to go through the IDEA process first…

Online: http://bit.ly/2fr0qPx

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