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Ohio's Top Elected Officials Talk About the Future of Medical Marijuana and Their Past Use

photo of John Husted, Josh Mandel, Dave Yost and Mike DeWine
From l. to r. - John Husted, Josh Mandel, Dave Yost and Mike DeWine

Four of Ohio's top elected officeholders took questions together today at an annual event with reporters.  They were asked about whether they support legislation for medical marijuana.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said he’s offered lawmakers a list of what other states are doing on medical marijuana, and Auditor Dave Yost says he doesn’t think a lot of studies are needed to come up with some legislation soon.

Then they were asked if they’d ever used marijuana, and if they had, when was the last time. DeWine answered “No.” Yost said, “Yes, probably 1978 – that’s a guess.”

Treasurer Josh Mandel said he hadn’t, but had he’d heard speculation about the answer to this question in the future: “It’ll be folks who didn’t smoke pot in college lying about the fact that they did.

And then Secretary of State Jon Husted admitted: “Yes, 1989.”

Husted said if lawmakers don’t pass something soon, he fears another ballot issue on pot will come forward that will be less to their liking.

Later in the day, the personal-use question was put to Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor -- who both acknowledged occasional use when they were young. The four Statehouse leaders split on the question: Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni and House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn said they had-- when they were much younger; House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Keith Faber said no.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.