OH: Plain Eyes Marijuana Restrictions


PLAIN TWP. Medical marijuana soon may be legal in Ohio, but Plain Township is eyeing some restrictions.
Township employees will not be permitted to use marijuana, even with a prescription, under the township’s drug-free workplace policies.

The township is part of a drug-free program under the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation. As part of that program, the township administers drug tests to new hires and has random drug testing of employees, said Township Administrator Lisa Campbell.

The township will continue to test for marijuana use, and employees won’t be given a pass for having a medical marijuana prescription, she said.

“It’s business as usual,” she said.

The township is not required to accommodate the new state law, and as marijuana still is illegal under federal law, does not have to make any exceptions under the Americans with Disabilities Act, she said.

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in certain forms and for certain health conditions with the passage of House Bill 523 in May.

Township trustees will hold a public hearing on the new state law at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 8, the same day the law goes into effect.

Sept. 8 is the first day the township can take action on the law, said Trustee Scott Haws, adding that midday was the only time that worked for all three trustees.

“The board does not want to allow even a day to pass without any action for the fear that someone is out there waiting to jump on this thing,” he said.

State law allows local jurisdictions to restrict or prohibit the cultivation, processing or sale of marijuana within their boundaries.

The township is looking at the impact of marijuana and the creation of related industries, said Tom Ferrara, the township’s planning, zoning and development director, prior to the Tuesday meeting.

The township could use zoning laws to restrict the number of businesses or where those businesses are located, he said.

There are concerns that parts of the township could quickly become clusters of marijuana businesses, Ferrara said.

Other Stark communities are also considering similar legislation. North Canton introduced an ordinance Monday that would place a six-month moratorium on a cultivator, processor or seller of marijuana setting up shop in the city. The issue has also been raised at Hartville Village Council meetings.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Plain Eyes Marijuana Restrictions
Author: Jessica Holbrook
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