YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

Salem Council member discusses medical marijuana

To the editor:

Let’s discuss medical marijuana. In September 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed an Act authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes and to establish the Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The Act was the result of information and support from the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Nurse’s Association, and the Ohio Medical Association and passed by the Republican majority in the Ohio House, the Republican majority of the Ohio Senate and signed into law by the Republican Governor.

The statute was enacted to aid individuals with 21 specific diseases, including: scoliosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis. Other diseases may be added for future treatment as determined by the state medical board.

The statute states that marijuana must be processed to reduce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content to 30 percent. THC is the naturally occurring substance that is primarily responsible for producing the “high” that results from marijuana use, but it also has therapeutic benefits for cancer patients, AIDS patients, and persons with chronic pain conditions. Other strains of medical marijuana will be available that have low THC content and higher cannabidiol content to treat persons with seizure disorders and other conditions where THC is not the primary therapeutic cannabinoid.

The statute also recognizes employers may maintain a drug-free workforce and if an employee, even one with a medical marijuana card, tests positive, the employer maintains the right to fire the employee. There is no protection or appeal available to the fired employee just because of his or her medical marijuana card.

To further protect the public, the statute requires that only the sick or injured individual who has received a referral for use can get the drug. A healthcare aid or relatives cannot get the medical marijuana for anyone else. Only the patient that needs this medicine can physically get it from a dispensary.

This is the whole point as to why there are some on city council who are looking to limit medical marijuana dispensaries to two. Those council persons supporting allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Salem are doing such so that those patients needing the medicine will not have to drive out of town to get it.

Salem City Council has voted 7 to 0 not to allow marijuana to be grown in the city. Salem City Council has voted 7 to 0 not to allow processing facilities.

There are those that look at natural marijuana and believe it to be a gateway drug which will lead to other addictions. I believe that statement to be true, however, the Ohio Medical establishment has indicated that there is a benefit of the restricted marijuana to patients with 21 diseases specifically listed. I believe those individuals should be able to receive relief without the necessity of leaving town.

The Business Journal has recently endorsed the medical marijuana enterprises for economic and health reasons.

The world renowned conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, speaker of the 2013 Columbiana County Lincoln Day dinner, just announced her daughter has a Colorado medical marijuana card and she is grateful for it.

In summary, it is illegal to smoke natural marijuana but with low THC strains available, as well as medical marijuana available in oils, patches and pills, the state of Ohio has provided ample alternatives for persons with serious medical conditions to obtain this medicine.

Let’s discuss medical marijuana. Please feel free to call me at 330-337-9529.

GEOFFREY S. GOLL,

Third Ward Councilman,

Salem

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