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Council expresses concerns regarding marijuana laws

April 27, 2017
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

City council members expressed their concerns regarding marijuana laws in Canfield during the April 19 meeting.

City Attorney Mark Fortunato said he was waiting to hear what direction council was looking to go before coming up with a resolution.

If the majority of city residents thought marijuana should be completely prohibited in Canfield, then, Fortunato said, he would prepare legislation.

Councilman John Morvay said he was leaning towards welcoming it just to ensure it was done legally. However, Councilman Chuck Tieche was opposed to allowing it in any form.

Mayor Bernie Kosar weighed in with his experience in Mayor's Court.

"I see a lot in Mayor's Court," he said. "When I have 18- to 21-year-olds in court, I try to tell them drugs aren't good and you don't want to go down that path. They just stand there with a blank stare and could care less about what I am saying. It scares me. It's just bad stuff and takes us down a road I don't think we want to be on. I don't want to see it grown or sold here."

Councilman Joe LoCicero said, "7,200 people in our city don't want signs, they certainly won't want marijuana."

Council President Donnie Dragish added, "That is not a business I want to see come to Canfield."

After the comments, Fortunato said he will prepare legislation to ban marijuana and have it ready at the next meeting.

On the topic of business signs, LoCicero spoke about seven business owners who attended a recent round table discussion after a regular council meeting. The discussions are leading up to the May 4 town hall meeting at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

"They (the business owners) said the biggest impairment the city puts in businesses' way is signage," LoCicero said.

He said the city's sign regulations should be somewhat relaxed to help the local businesses.

Morvay said some business owners were asking for a sandwich board for advertising. These are signs that can be set up on a sidewalk and removed at the end of the day.

Tieche said if everyone did that, it wouldn't work. He said the Canfield WPA Memorial Building has multiple businesses in it and if everyone were to set out a sign, it would be a disaster.

Morvay suggested having a local civic group purchase a digital sign for display on the Village Green. He said the sign could be used to support local business.

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