By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER

Mayor Lydia Mihalik’s proposed medical marijuana ban was widely panned online, before City Council decided against rushing its passage Tuesday.

Citizens discussed the proposal on Facebook and Twitter and urged people to attend Tuesday night’s council meeting to voice their opinions.

Just one community member spoke during the council meeting, although there were around 30 in attendance.

On social media, Findlay resident Amber Radebaugh shared news of the proposed ban and posted contact information for Mihalik and council members.

“Flood them with facts to help sway the decision,” Radebaugh posted on Facebook and on TheCourier.com.

Mihalik and officials in the mayor’s office said they received a mix of positive and negative calls Tuesday before the council meeting, along with some emails and Facebook messages.

Council members also reported receiving calls about the proposed pot ban.

Facebook and Twitter users also questioned the quickness of the proposed ban. Council members also complained of the legislation’s timing.

Ordinances typically require three readings, but Mihalik urged council to suspend its rules and approve the ban. Medical marijuana becomes legal in Ohio on Thursday.

Mihalik admitted earlier Tuesday that time “got away from us” in proposing the ban, but she said the proposal wouldn’t have been any different if it was proposed a few weeks earlier.

Some social media commenters said the mayor should turn her attention to the heroin and opioid epidemic rather than addressing a drug already legalized at the state level.

Others said the move to ban medical marijuana was good because of the heroin problem.

“As a longtime citizen of Findlay, I applaud our mayor! We have enough problems with the heroin addictions. If you never try it, you won’t crave it,” said Findlay resident Karen Sue Fox.

Online comments also questioned Mihalik’s understanding of medical marijuana. They said it helps people suffering from seizures and serious illnesses.

After Tuesday’s council meeting, Mihalik said she’s not completely against medical marijuana, just the lack of state regulation so far.

“I don’t see this as being a debate between the pros and cons,” Mihalik said. “There is evidence it may help in the management of certain diseases and that’s obvious.”

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