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Concerns about medical marijuana resolution expressed at council meeting

| June 27, 2017
COSHOCTON – Coshocton City Council’s June 26 meeting started out with citizens stepping up to the podium to express their concerns about the community welcoming medical marijuana manufacturing facilities.

Pastor Mike Jansen from the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle presented council with a report called, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact.” The report was compiled by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and covers three time frames: Before medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado (2006-2008), afterwards (2009 to present) and after recreational marijuana became ok to use (2013 to present).

Jansen then proceeded to share several facts from the report with council. He noted that marijuana related traffic deaths increased 48 percent in a three year time period covered by the report. Emergency room visits related to marijuana went from 14,148 in 2013 to 18,255 in 2014. Marijuana related exposures also increased 100 percent from 2013 to 2015.

“I think you are looking at a short term gain with long term losses by allowing medical marijuana to be introduced into Coshocton,” Jansen said.

In addition to being a pastor, Jansen also has worked as a high school teacher in the state of New York.

“I know of 12 kids that are dead because of drug related issues,” he said. “They sat in my classroom and I poured my life into them and now they are dead. Every single one of them started with pot. They said it was a cool thing to do and no big deal, but now they are dead.”

Tim Eberhard also is concerned about medical marijuana being introduced to our community.

“This is not something we need here,” he said. “We need to ask ourselves if it’s going to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. I say the answer is no.”

Chris Cutshall then stepped up to speak.

“I read the same report Pastor Mike did and before that I wasn’t sure where I was leaning on medical marijuana,” Cutshall said. “There have been reports about how it can be helpful and I’m sure there are some benefits, but do the benefits outweigh the negatives? I think we know that marijuana is a gateway to other drugs that are harder like cocaine and heroin.”

Jansen also shared with council that several states that legalized medical marijuana then went on to authorize its recreational use.

“Bringing medical marijuana farming to Coshocton will not help long term with the state of our community,” he said. “On the contrary it will harm our children and be a tax on physical and financial resources as well as a depressant to community and future economic growth. Please rescind resolution 8-17 for the marijuana farming application for Coshocton.”

More on the report Jansen shared can be found at www.rmhidta.org.

The meeting proceeded with Mayor Steve Mercer sharing how impressed he was with the community turning out to pay respect to Private Eugene J. “Gene” Appleby.

On Thursday, June 22, the World War II U.S. Army Private was buried next to his mother and sister in South Lawn Cemetery after a funeral service at Miller Funeral Home.

According to www.fieldsofhonor-database.com, Private Appleby was reported Missing in Action on Sept. 17, 1944 and declared officially dead on Sept. 18, 1945. A fellow soldier saw him take a bullet to the forehead, but his remains were never found, that is until 2011.

Human remains were found on Sept. 8, 2011 on the Groenendaal Farm in the Netherlands. After several years of research it was announced in January 2017 that the remains discovered were indeed those of Private Gene J. Appleby, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne.

“I got to talk to his family who were able to come for the funeral and they were a little overwhelmed with our community and how it came out to show respect to Private Appleby and so was I,” Mercer said.

He especially enjoyed seeing the family and children who stood outside for Appleby’s funeral procession with their hands on their hearts.

“I recently went to a mayors’ convention and one of the speakers was from the state department of veterans’ services,” Mercer said. “He shared that Ohio is one of the leading states in how it takes care of its veterans. I know here in Coshocton we have a great veterans’ service office and our honor guard doesn’t just have one or two who show up for funerals. Several show up and we have really great support for that group.”

Service Director Max Crown agreed with Mercer.

“I think our town showed its true colors with this one,” Crown said.

Council President Cliff Biggers closed the meeting by thanking everyone who attended.

“These meetings are all about being able to come here and have a say in what you believe,” he said.



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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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