OH: Safety Panel Chair Wants Discussion Of Medical Marijuana Issue

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Safety Committee Chairman Paul Barker wanted North Olmsted City Council to discuss a possible moratorium on medical marijuana businesses locating in the city before passing it, prompting council to place the legislation in Barker’s committee.

During the Aug. 16 caucus session before the regular City Council meeting, law Director Michael Gareau Jr. asked council to consider passing a six-month moratorium on having medical marijuana issues on suspension – or one reading. Gareau said his primary reason was to have the city law in effect before the state law allowing the medical marijuana in Ohio takes effect Sept. 8. The council committee meeting was scheduled for last night.

“The (Ohio state) legislature gave us the opportunity to flat out ban them, which is rare,” Gareau said.

As approved by the legislature, the state law gives every city the ability to ban or place its own restrictions on medical marijuana issues. State law prohibits medical marijuana businesses from being within 500 feet of schools, churches, libraries, playgrounds or parks.

Gareau said the proposed moratorium would better allow council to consider whether it wants medical marijuana businesses in the city. He said Mayor Kevin Kennedy’s administration doesn’t want to go in that direction.

“There will be plenty of places for people to go to get their medical marijuana needs met,” he said.

Barker also questioned having medical marijuana businesses in North Olmsted, but said the issue does merit some discussion before any moratorium is passed.

“It’s an important issue,” Barker said. “We at least need to discuss it in committee before we moved forward on this. I myself am for medical marijuana but I don’t think we necessarily need the businesses in North Olmsted. I don’t want North Olmsted to be one of those places where someone goes in and says I have a medical condition, then get the marijuana and goes and gets high. We need better definition in a lot of the areas pertaining to this issue.”

Barker said he believes that better definition also extends to the state.

“We could use a little more definition on the state level for all of this,” he said. “We also have to remember marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. So, we need to take a good look at all of this. I think we’ll get a moratorium passed by the first council meeting in September on the sixth. I just want to see some discussion of it.”

Gareau said he’s fine with the proposed moratorium going to committee initially as long as it passes by Sept. 8.

“That puts us ahead of the game,” he said.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Safety Panel Chair Wants Discussion Of Medical Marijuana Issue
Author: Jeff Gallatin
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