Kettering bans medical marijuana, aligns with state gun laws

City Council’s decision to make permanent its temporary moratorium on medical marijuana business in Kettering will take effect next week.

Council members this month voted unanimously on the permanent ban, and they also amended regulations on firearms to comply with state law.

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Many area cities have either temporary or permanent bans on medical marijuana businesses. Dayton, Beavercreek and Riverside are among those who permit it. Cities that have passed bans include Oakwood, Huber Heights and Springboro. Centerville has a moratorium that is set to expire May 15.

Kettering Assistant City Manager Steven Bergstresser had presented to council members a detailed report urging members to replace the city’s temporary moratorium with a permanent ban.

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Bergstresser explained that the ban will go into effect on May 22, which is before the temporary ban was set to expire May 31.

He said the permanent ban enacts “a prohibition on the processing, cultivation and dispensing of medical marijuana 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.

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Andrew Rodney, city planner and zoning administrator for Centerville, said the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries expired May 15, but there isn’t a plan to extend it.

“If somebody comes in on May 16 with application for that type of business, then we plan to enforce all of the zoning and other applicable laws that we already have in place,” Rodney explained.

Mary Copeland said she is disappointed that cities aren’t open to allowing residents who have medical needs for marijuana the access they need to get it.

“I live in Centerville and am close to Kettering. It is a shame that medical marijuana will not be available in Kettering and Oakwood,” Copeland said, as the number of cities saying no to dispensaries or leaning that way continues to grow.

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Theodore Hamer, law director, explained council’s decision to reconcile Kettering’s local ordinances on firearms to align with state law.

Hamer said state lawmakers had enacted a “statewide uniformed firearms laws prohibiting municipalities from adopting firearm regulations that conflict with those contained in the Ohio Revised Code.” Doing so did not violate Ohio’s Home Rule provisions, the state supreme court ruled.

Hamer said Kettering had enforced firearm regulations in the Ohio Revised Code, but he added, “there remained on the city’s books provisions which may be in conflict with the Ohio Revised Code.”

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Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said it is important for cities across the state to reconcile their laws with the Ohio Revised Code.

“Ohio’s ‘pre-emption’ law became effective in March of 2007,” he said. “It replaced a patchwork of varied and confusing local rules with uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition.”

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