Responds to med pot stance taken by Salem Council member

To the editor:

As the marijuana debate lingers on in Salem… at least among Salem City Council… I find it curious that proponents of “medical” pot, like Councilman Geoff Goll, now want to “have a public dialogue” on the subject.

Yet in private, Mr. Goll wanted to fire a civil service employee, the highly respected chief of police of Salem, for daring to express his right to publically dialogue about the very real, deleterious consequences of dispensing “legal” pot on our streets.

Councilman Goll stressed in his recent letter to the editor that “it was the Republican General Assembly and Republican Governor that enacted the new law that permits ‘medical’ marijuana in Ohio”. That is true.

But this new law was not, however, enacted at the behest of Ohio’s medical and nursing and hospital communities. It was enacted to avert another costly constitutional ballot initiative financed by wealthy out of state interests, who’s ultimate desire remains to enrich themselves through the legalization of all forms of pot in Ohio.

Mr. Goll forgot to mention that this new law provides the legal option for communities to opt out of any participation whatsoever in the cultivating, processing or dispensing of “medical” pot… which is what most of the communities all around Salem have already done.

Mr. Goll opines on the benign nature of “medical” pot, citing all of its virtues. Apparently not in the “public dialogue”, though, are the area’s chief drug addiction authorities and our local and county law enforcement officials and this community’s leading economical development authority who have all either appeared before Council or submitted letters to Council urging that “medical” pot be banned from Salem.

Proposing two medical pot dispensaries for Salem today would merely put such dispensaries in play if and/or when all forms of pot are finally pushed upon us as has happened in so many other states that started out with just “medical” pot. What then?

Will Salem be a “sanctuary city” for an even bigger drug culture than we already have? Will we have to add another two or more drug dogs to sniff out the drug dens that pollute this community? Drug dogs, by the way, don’t discern the difference between “medical” and street pot.

What businesses will want to come or even stay in Salem given the already difficult time they have with new hires passing a simple drug screen test? Trust me, this is a serious economic development issue facing us.

Finally, I really don’t care if the Youngstown Business Journal has endorsed “medical” pot for Youngstown. Just look at Youngstown. Is that what we want for Salem? I would hope not.

David W. Johnson,



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