Medical marijuana will not flourish in Barnesville.
Village Council members unanimously approved an ordinance that prohibits anyone from cultivating, processing or selling medical marijuana there.
“We are not disputing that medically it can do good for people, we’re just worried about the side effects,” said Brad Hudson, village council president. “If we vote for this and have this ordinance in place, it doesn’t mean that 10 or 20 years down the road, if it works out good in other communities, that council at that time can’t rescind this ordinance and do something different.”
But councilman Terry McCort expressed his concerns with far more disdain.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing, period,” he said.
The vote came nearly a month after council first tried to pass an emergency ordinance on March 19. However, councilman Jamie Betts voted against the emergency measure, which forced the council to approve the ordinance through the standard three readings that state law requires.
During the second reading at the meeting on April 2, Hudson had asked village solicitor Marlin Harper if it was possible to word an ordinance that would give village officials a review process, or waiting period, before any medical marijuana operations were placed in the village, without enacting an outright ban.
Harper said Monday that he didn’t see that as a possibility.
“A municipal corporation is a creature of state statute and has only the powers delegated it by the legislature, and the power that we were delegated for medical marijuana is in the revised code which says that, ‘A municipal corporation may adopt an ordinance to prohibit or limit the number of cultivators, processors, or retail dispensaries licensed under this chapter,’” said Harper.
Harper said that this meant the village had only three options: to allow, to limit or to prohibit.