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Sandy Township trustees say no to marijuana

By DAVID HUTTON The Press-News Published: October 14, 2016 10:00 AM

SANDY TWP. -- Township trustees on Oct. 3 proved a resolution banning the establishment and operation of medical marijuana cultivation, processing and dispensing in the township.

Sandy Township joined several Stark County townships, including Plain, Jackson, Perry, Lake and Canton townships, in passing a measure closing the door on medical marijuana.

Over the summer, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law. The measure made medical marijuana legal in the state of Ohio. However, its use is restrictive and may take up to two years before it is operational.

State legislators have not laid out any rules on the production of medical marijuana or how it will be sold. As a result, there is no medical marijuana that can be sold in Ohio at this time. State agencies are still working on how to implement and regulate the new law.

Sandy trustees, like colleagues throughout the county, weren't going to wait and see. Legal counsel John McCall drafted the resolution, which was passed by a unanimous vote.

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"If some future board wants to change it for some good reason, they can," McCall said.

Trustee Robert Fallot noted that there are just too many questions and he doesn't want to see it in the township.

"I know I don't want it in my back yard," he said.

In the future, if rules are laid out and a reasonable business presents an opportunity, trustees said they would listen.

"This doesn't lock you in forever," McCall said. "It would take action to reverse."

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House Bill 523 allows local jurisdictions to ban or restrict processing, growth and sale of medical marijuana within their borders.

Marijuana is often referred to as a gateway drug to the abuse of other drugs, including opiates.

Sarah Nelson, executive chairperson of the Sandy Valley Drug Awareness Initiative, last month expressed her support for a measure to block medical marijuana in the township.

Police Chief Jeff Hager issued the monthly police report. Sandy Township had 201 paid officer houses and 15.5 grant hours. There were 16 traffic arrests, two juvenile traffic arrests, one DUI arrest, five crash reports, seven misdemeanor arrests, three felony arrests and 22 reports completed.

The township had 59 calls for service in Sandy Township, while the department responded to 20 calls in East Sparta and 17 in Magnolia.

In other business, trustees:

RECEIVED two nuisance complaints for properties on Minerva Road Southeast. Trustees agreed to have McCall review the complaints and determine the best course of action to pursue.

AGREED to send Road Superintendent Gary McKinney to an ODOT meeting for winter weather preparations on Oct. 25.

SET trick or treat time at 3-5 p.m. Oct 30 in the township.

PAID bills totaling $22,881.16.

The next regular Sandy Township trustee meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in township hall.


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