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Lawmaking Process Often Not What It Seems; Battling Drug Problems Before They Start

The State of Ohio
Friday, July 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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Revisiting how laws are made; a new program that hopes to crush drug addiction among kids.

The explanation of how a bill becomes a law is in every American public school student’s education. Being that it’s summer break, a lot of kids may have already forgotten that process. But maybe that’s ok, because what we may have learned in school about law-making may not bear much resemblance to how it actually happens when real lawmakers, lobbyists, interest groups and others are involved. We revisit a conversation from May with Catherine Turcer from the government watchdog group Common Cause and Maurice Thompson is with the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.

Ohio’s drug problem has been called an epidemic. Accidental drug overdoses went from being the smallest number of annual deaths from injury in 1999 to the largest number in 2010. In 2011, the state says one Ohio died of a drug overdose every five hours. And there’s evidence those drug abusers start young. Gov. John Kasich has been talking up a four-part program that he says can help. It’s called “Start Talking!”, and aims to give parents, teachers and other adults the tools they need to reach out to middle and high school kids before they start using and help them avoid drugs altogether. In March, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck was on the show, along with Columbus father Paul Schoonover, whose son Matt died of a drug overdose two years ago, at 21 years old.

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