As municipalities across Ohio grapple with the pending arrival of medicinal marijuana in their communities, Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon’s pro-pot stance is fairly simple.
It’s about keeping his constituents — not to mention his family — safe during an opioid epidemic which, according to the Ohio Department of Health, resulted in more than 4,000 unintentional overdose deaths statewide in 2016.
The mayor said addiction has already had an impact on the people of Rossford and on others in his personal life.
He talked about a close family friend who became hooked on prescription pain pills during an eight-year battle with cancer. He said medical pot could help his father, who has battled Parkinson’s Disease for 23 years and was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. He spoke about his two children, athletes who he’d rather see use medicinal marijuana instead of opioids in the case of a serious injury.
“If one of them had to get knee or shoulder surgery, I think I’d rather have them eat a brownie or suck on a gummy bear, instead of an opioid where they can graduate to heroin or form an addiction,” Mayor MacKinnon said. “I think it’s a safer alternative and it’s better for all families to have that option.”
The mayor’s attitude helps explain how this Toledo suburb is walking into the medical marijuana issue with open arms as state government continues to build the guidelines and practices that will soon comprise Ohio’s medical marijuana industry.
Senate Bill 523, which Gov. John Kasich signed into law in June, 2016, legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
State officials are in the process of implementing the rules for the testing, processing, selling, and use of approved forms of medical marijuana. They’re also determining where cultivators and dispensaries will be allowed to