Editorial roundup

Sandusky Register, June 19

Some people object to the mere suggestion a community change its local ordinances to allow marijuana grow facilities. Other people have a fierce opposition.

It just makes sense to us, however, that communities would consider changing local laws to allow medicinal medical marijuana centers. Ohio lawmakers changed state laws, last year, to not only allow it, but license and regulate it.

For local leaders, the question is not a moral one the way some people have framed it. That’s an antiquated point of view that likely never was quite right, but it’s understandable it exists.

“The burning weed with its roots in hell,” is one voice-over description for it in the 1936 anti-marijuana film “Reefer Madness,” among others. The use of marijuana would lead to “debauchery, violence, murder, suicide and the ultimate end for a marijuana addict: hopeless insanity.”

Make no mistake, there are dangers that exist for the recreational abuse of marijuana. But obviously its reputation has come a long way since then, from demon weed to medicinal miracle.

Leaders in Sandusky, Huron, Oak Harbor and other communities aren’t making a moral judgment about marijuana, and they aren’t voting for pot dispensaries.

What they are doing is considering changes to local law to allow for grow centers are the jobs this new industry could bring. We’re glad the common sense that represents appears to be winning out over an artificial argument about morality.

Online: http://bit.ly/2tGu6fi

Akron Beacon Journal, June 18

Wall Street went too far, and the country paid a heavy price. Many areas still have not recovered entirely from the deep recession that the financial industry helped to fuel and aggravated. In the aftermath, Congress and the Obama White House responded effectively. Whatever its flaws, the Dodd-Frank Act represents a marked improvement in oversight and regulation of banking and related sectors.

Which makes the Financial CHOICE Act, recently approved by the U.S. House, such a misguided piece of legislation. It would reverse many of the Dodd-Frank advances, leaving the country more exposed to the risk and excesses that proved so harmful.

To a degree, the opposition to the stronger regulation has been hard to follow. The tea party got its start cudgeling the bank bailouts. Dodd-Frank makes such bailouts far less likely. Yet Republicans don’t call for making precise and necessary repairs. They condemn the act for its overreach.

Consider what House Republicans would do. They want to weaken significantly the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a tool for seeing the big picture and assessing systemic risk, a missing element as the financial crisis approached. They would repeal the Volcker Rule, inviting banks and affiliates to speculate again with government-insured deposits.

A key challenge has been designing a mechanism to prevent huge bailouts. Dodd-Frank launched the Orderly Liquidation Authority, permitting regulators to wind down failing banks. House Republicans would abandon the concept. They would send financial institutions to bankruptcy court, an impractical step, to say the least, when swift, coordinated action is required. …

… No question, Dodd-Frank needs some fixes, especially in the regulation of community banks. These banks do not pose a systemic risk. Thus, there is room for easing stress tests and other requirements.

Unfortunately, the Financial CHOICE Act signals lessons unlearned. As a Brookings Institution analysis recently noted, bank credit growth has been solid, outside the still aching residential mortgage sector. Dodd-Frank has worked in the main. An impulse to deregulate risks a return to trouble, when the country lacked the guardrails to protect against Wall Street inflicting such harm.