EDITORIAL: City was right to be proactive on issue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Regardless of how one voted last year on Issue Two, the reality is that voters in Ohio voted to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana in the state.

And, surrounded by states where it is not legal, specifically West Virginia and Kentucky in our region, it is a foregone conclusion that the state will likely see the phenomenon of “marijuana tourism” as out-of-staters come here to take advantage of the law, in addition to local customers.

And, being a border county with those two states, situated just off an interstate highway, Lawrence County will likely be a major destination point of such travel.

Email newsletter signup

Whether one likes it or not, that’s the law, and what is coming.

So it would make sense for municipalities here to begin thinking about this and preparing before the legalization takes effect (ditto for the state legislature, which has details to hammer out in this legislative season).

And that was the case for Ironton’s city council, who, at their Dec. 28 meeting, began tackling the issue of where such sales would take place.

The council had its first votes on ordinance on the issue.

One was to bar sales of marijuana in residential areas, while another supported state legislation that would permit municipalities to share in marijuana tax revenue since those cities would be providing services like police and fire protection.

It is good to see the City of Ironton having the foresight to move on these matters now, rather than later, and it is a conversation that villages and the county need to have as well in coming weeks.

Hopefully, with proper planning, it can be made to ensure that citizens here see some benefit from such a source of activity and a change in the law.