BUTLER TWP. — Butler Township will not be welcoming any business related to medical marijuana for the next 180 days and, if one Township Trustee has his way, that won’t ever happen.
The Trustees passed a 180-day moratorium on Monday evening after receiving a preliminary inquiry regarding the possible location of a business related to medical marijuana in the township.
Administrator Erika Vogel said the inquiry was to gauge interest from the Trustees and was not a firm proposal.
That prompted the Trustees to pass the moratorium that temporarily bans cultivation, processing, and retail dispensing of medical marijuana.
“We didn’t do a moratorium six months ago when everyone else was doing them, and now all of theirs are expiring,” said Trustee Mike Lang. “Our code doesn’t adequately address this. Certainly there are areas in the township where cultivating it may be possible but at this point we don’t have the parameters on what the requirements are or actual distances are. Until we actually see that it is premature to say yes or no.”
Lang is referring to similar measures passed by cities and townships across the Miami Valley, including neighboring Vandalia.
“It’s legal,” said Trustee Joe Flanagan. “You can either get in front of it to control it or you can come in behind it, one or the other.”
Trustee Ken Betz said he was opposed to any such facility in the township.
“It doesn’t belong in our community period. End of sentence,” said Betz. “I firmly believe it (marijuana) is still a gateway drug. It gives the wrong example to our kids and our citizens that its OK to sell and grow it by state statute. Just because the state statute says it is legal doesn’t mean Butler Township has to go along.”
Betz, who serves as the Director of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said that drug overdoses have reached a crisis in the county.
“In Montgomery County we are pushing close to 165 accidental drug overdoses just this year alone,” he said. “It is really out of control in our community. I have no support for this in our community in any fashion.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.