LEETONIA — In a brief committee discussion prior to Wednesday’s regular meeting, village council indicated a desire to join Columbiana in banning medical marijuana dispensaries.
In discourse presented by Councilman Dave Keeler, who raised the issue last month, council suggested the ban of dispensaries will eventually occur, even though no motion or recommendation was provided to council as a whole.
Keeler noted he believes medical use of marijuana is one step closer to recreational use and that other municipalities in the area have, or plan to, ban the dispensaries. He said following suit shows support for local leaders of each municipality.
Columbiana recently banned medical marijuana dispensaries, joining others across the state to stop future medical marijuana businesses after Gov. John Kasich signed a bill allowing the use that took effect in September.
The law provides options for municipalities to place a moratorium to limit the location of retail establishments, producers or anyone who is involved in the production end of the business, or to simply ban it altogether.
Keeler on Wednesday reiterated his feelings he expressed last month regarding the presence of a medical marijuana dispensary.
“I think it’s bad for kids walking by and seeing [a marijuana business],” he said. “Marijuana is marijuana, and that’s where you get started with the stronger stuff.”
Mayor Kevin Siembida, who previously acknowledged the issue to be essentially a state and federal one, but noted the village has a responsibility to monitor how it is handled “in our own backyard,” said he feels the social costs of a marijuana dispensary do not outweigh the income that would be generated from such a business. He pointed to the increase in issues such as homelessness and emergency room visits in other areas around the country with medical marijuana use as examples.
The short discussion