Hamilton ordinance would ban the sale of medical marijuana
(PHOTO: FOX19 File)
HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) -
There is a push to place the legalization of marijuana into the hands of Ohio voters come November, but one city is considering banning the sale before it's even on the ballot.
The zoning ordinance would ban the sale of medical marijuana anywhere in the city of Hamilton. The idea was first introduced in 2013.
On Wednesday night in front of city council, it was the public's chance to weigh in on this controversial issue.
"What exactly do you fear would be so detrimental about marijuana dispensaries," said Hamilton native, Anthony Weisenberger.
"The bad outweighs the good for its use," said Barry Clardy, a local pastor.
Across the Buckeye State, the group 'ResponsibleOhio' started getting signatures to put pot on Ohio's ballot. It would allow marijuana to be grown at 10 different farms across the state for medical and recreational purposes. Pending enough votes, it would let Ohioans open plants, stores and medical dispensaries.
The city of Hamilton called this a proactive approach to the future of marijuana.
"My response to the invitation for consideration is no, not in Hamilton, Ohio. We declare this to be the city of hope, not the city of dope," said Clardy.
Clardy said there's countless reasons to support this ban, including the negative health effects.
"I say no for our sons and daughters, no for those whose lives have been ripped apart by addiction," said Clardy.
Taylor Anderson-Hall said she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, and is now in remission. She said while in the hospital, her condition made her weak, nauseous and with no appetite to the point where doctors told her she was dangerously skinny. As a solution, her boyfriend gave her a little marijuana and she said it made all the difference.
"I honestly feel that it could have been one of the things that saved my life," said Anderson-Hall.
If the ordinance is approved, city officials said the penalty for breaking the law is between $250 and $500 for each offense. Officials stress if marijuana is legalized in Ohio, they would have to "tweak" their ban.
Hamilton mayor Pat Moeller said it's great to hear different opinions and life experiences on this issue. Council plans to vote on the ordinance Feb. 25.