Editor's note: The complete audio of Keith Faber's address to the Akron Press Club has been added to this story. So has a link to the address on March 6 by his likely fall opponent, Zack Space.
State auditor candidate Keith Faber criticized Ohio’s medical marijuana roll-out today at the Akron Press Club.
Faber, the former Ohio Senate president, said he was no fan of the idea of legalizing medical marijuana when lawmakers OK’d it in 2016. But he says he’s grown more troubled by a series of mistakes the Ohio Department of Commerce acknowledges it has made, including mis-scoring applications for the 24 cultivation sites allowed by the law.
“Now the problem you’ve got is once you’ve made awards and people start reliance on those awards, what do you do? Go back and say, ‘Hey, we were just kidding. By the way I know you’ve broken ground and you’re starting to build your facilities and you’re trying to get up and running because you’ve got a very narrow time frame to do that. Just kidding. We’re going to reallocate.’ It’s the problem with not having the system in place to do it right the first time.”
Faber hopes to succeed fellow Republican Auditor Dave Yost, who has called for a pause in the medical marijuana program until the problems are fixed.
Faber is holding out little hope for the state to adopt stricter gun-control measures.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I think we ought to regulate guns or that we can do things on the gun side. Because the answer to me is that we have a lot of guns in our society. I don’t think you're ever going to get rid of all of them. I think you need to be careful about the people who have access to guns. And candidly, I just don’t think we’re going to fix that problem by saying this gun looks like it’s meaner than that gun.”
Faber said after the shooting at Chardon High School in 2012, Ohio adopted school safety measures, including locked doors and having armed school security officers. He also endorsed a proposal made by Attorney General Mike DeWine this week to have a mental health officer in every school in Ohio.
Faber is likely to be opposed in the fall by Democrat Zack Space, a former congressman from the 18th District covering primarily and Appalachian region of Ohio. Here is a link to his March 6, 2018 appearance.