Medical marijuana issue fields public comments

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY —Troy City Council fielded public comments regarding the amendment of its zoning code to allow one dispensary of medical marijuana in the highway business district on Monday.

The law and ordinance committee will meet next week regarding the amended zoning codes banning the cultivation and processors of medical marijuana and another ordinance to allow one dispensary within city limits.

The committee meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 with chairman John Schweser, Brock Heath and Lynne Snee.

At the public hearing, no one spoke in favor or against the proposed ban of cultivation or processing of medical marijuana.

The amended ordinance regarding the dispensary issue had three supporters and one resident against the issue.

Troy resident Christina Ryan Claypool, a freelance journalist and speaker, asked council to vote against the dispensary issue.

Claypool shared how she has lost two family members to drug addiction and shared how she once was addicted to recreational marijuana in her past. Claypool said adding a dispensary would “open a door” for those seeking relief through medicinal marijuana to become addicted to other illegal drugs.

Claypool said she believes marijuana as well as alcohol is a gateway drug.

“I just wanted to come here tonight because I know it’s difficult and this could change the complexion of the city and change the very way I love Troy, Ohio,” she shared.

She urged council to visit Ginghamsburg Church’s Recovery group to see how people struggle with addiction in the area.

Claypool also noted that controlled substances like Suboxone and other medication “will end up on the street, it always does,” and thanked council for their time.

Aimee Shannon of Troy has been a proponent of a dispensary in the city since it was first proposed last fall.

Shannon shared stories of people with Parkinson’s disease and seizures who have utilized medical marijuana with great results. She also shared how has been prescribed dozens of pain medications, which she said “could kill someone on the street very easily” and often left her bedridden. Shannon also showed council what hemp-derived CBD oil and salve looked like and said she didn’t understand the fear surrounding the medicinal marijuana issue.

“What moral and ethical right does someone have to tell me that I can’t have access to a medication that has been prescribed to me? A medication that for me and for others could save our lives.” Shannon said.

Shannon said she hopes council will consider people like herself when they vote on the issue next month.

“There are people out here that are depending on this and need to have access to it here in our own town,” she said.

A resident who identified himself as Chris also spoke in favor of a medical marijuana dispensary. He said he hoped council will allow a dispensary so he could access medical marijuana to alleviate his pain symptoms from Hepatitis C and its side effects from medication. He also said he was interested in accessing medical marijuana so he would no longer have to seek illegal recreational marijuana on the street in various forms.

Lester Conard also spoke in favor of a dispensary in Troy.

“This is something that is going to help people live a normal life without pain, without misery. It’s not going to get you high … it’s going to help alleviate the pain …,” Conard said.

Conard urged council members to investigate more about the medication before voting.

Council members John Schweser and Tom Kendall were not present at the meeting.

By Melanie Yingst