Kettering city staff members in a presentation to City Council Tuesday evening strongly recommended that there be a permanent ban on medical marijuana businesses in the city.
A March 23 memo from city staff to council had also asked for enacting a ban on the businesses in the city. The primary reason given is that Ohio’s medical marijuana program is in conflict with federal law, which considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug.
Kettering Assistant City Manager Steven Bergstresser placed more than 10 slides chock full of details he felt would convince council members to replace the city’s temporary moratorium with a permanent ban.
“We looked at it from a legal perspective, land use perspective and a legal perspective,” he explained. “From a legal perspective it is still illegal at a federal level and so we felt that because of that disconnect between state law and federal law and the fact that businesses operating marijuana operate on a cash only basis so it leads to a potential of increased crime.”
Bergstresser stressed to Council that research conducted on other states that have enacted marijuana usage revealed problems that Kettering should avoid.
“California and Colorado have published reports that they have seen detrimental impact on their communities after the establishment of marijuana in their communities,” he said. “The FDA says that it has not approved marijuana for medical use. So that was enough evidence to recommend a ban here in Kettering.”
Possession and use of medical marijuana in compliance with state law would be allowed, and those individuals who desire to possess and use medical marijuana would be able to acquire it from nearby dispensaries in neighboring jurisdictions according to Bergstresser.
“I am sure that there are people in Kettering that have qualifying medical conditions like Parkinson’s or cancer to name a few who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana we aren’t medical professionals. We looked at the ban from the areas that we feel Kettering can control from a regulatory standpoint,” he explained. “Folks that still want to use medical marijuana if a ban is enacted in Kettering, they could still use it in Kettering, they would just have to go to another community to obtain it.”
Dayton, Beavercreek and Riverside are among those who permit it. Other cities that have passed bans include Oakwood, Huber Heights and Springboro.
Resident Lisa Crosley, a business owner in the city, said she agreed with city staff’s recommendation to ban medical marijuana businesses.
She said it could “cause legal problems” for the city because it will pit state and federal laws against each other and also cause problems for business owners because of the “bad reputation” marijuana has.
Council did not vote on the issue Tuesday evening and will have until May 31 to make a decision as the city’s moratorium will expire then.
“They could extend the moratorium if they want more time to make a decision,” Bergstresser said. “The schedule is kind of up to them with how they want to proceed.”