Huber Heights residents split on medical marijuana, survey says

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Marijuana. CONTRIBUTED

Huber Heights residents are split over medical marijuana, according to the results of two city-commissioned surveys.

The surveys — one conducted online, the other by phone — reveal the severe division in opinion held by residents as the city struggles to determine how to move forward on the controversial issue.

MORE: Huber Heights votes down medical marijuana

“In short, the survey in its totality concludes a very short margin of difference, and the community is split on this topic,” a new report from the city reads. “As noted, the raw data shows a slight positive response; however, there is also a slight negative response regarding what the topic will do to the quality of life.”

A phone survey of 339 registered voters shows 32 percent of residents are “very supportive,” with another 30 percent saying they are “very unsupportive,” of a zoning change to allow for a cultivation, processing and dispensing center of medical marijuana in the city.

Twenty-seven percent said they thought “cultivation, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana” within the city would be very positive, though another 28 percent said it would be “very negative.”

MORE: Huber location eyed for medical marijuana grow site

The online survey is not scientific and it is not clear whether there was overlap between those who were surveyed by phone. But the results online showed more positive attitudes to medical marijuana.

Sixty-two percent of the 1,143 people who answered the question online said they were “very supportive” of a zoning change to allow for a cultivation, processing and dispensing center of medical marijuana in the city, while 24 percent said they were “very unsupportive.”

Of the online respondents who said they were supportive, more than half said they were because “people need medical marijuana for health reasons.” Others cited job growth as a benefit. Half of those who oppose medical marijuana in the city oppose it because of “concern about safety and crime.”

Last month, Huber Heights city council voted down a zoning change to allow medical marijuana cultivators, processors and distributors, and additionally passed a moratorium on the industry in the city.

MORE: Ohio’s medical marijuana industry takes shape

The vote against medical marijuana went against the recommendation of the city’s planning commission and and was a setback for a group of businessmen who sought to start a cultivation facility, though they said they will still fight to bring their business to the community.

The vote was claimed as a victory for a host of citizens who vocally opposed the measure.

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