Decision not just based on business

To the editor:

This is in response to Stephen Sammut’s Sept. 10 letter, “More questions about dispensaries.” I’m so happy that we have someone like the author around who can judge what is morally acceptable in a society, since the writer called me “immoral.” That title of doctor must bring deity status with it. The next time I have a question about whether something is moral, I’ll be sure to call for spiritual guidance.

We are not deciding on whether this issue is legal or not. Medical marijuana will be legal in Ohio. City Council decided that we are going to allow a legal business to possibly operate in Steubenville. The writer is probably the type of person, who, having high moral standards and attempting to decide how everyone else lives their lives, would stand against adult entertainment establishments, even though they are totally legal. In the letter, it was stated, “Marijuana is a drug of abuse and has significant negative consequences on the general functioning of the person using it. This includes, at the very least, decreased coordination affecting crucial daily functioning, especially if machinery is involved.”

Start that statement with “alcohol,” and by the writer’s argument we should close bars, groceries and restaurants. How many people die from obesity and complications from diabetes every year? Should we close bakeries and fast-food chains? How about paint huffing? Long-term use can cause irreversible damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. I’m going to hate telling Sherwin-Williams that we are closing down its store.

The most incorrect piece of the letter was where it was written, “Eric Timmons, who only sees the immediate dollar reward.” I do support legal business, but that isn’t the only thing I see or the biggest reason my opinion is what it is. I read an e-mail from a citizen that was sent on Sept. 5, after our meeting. It was a thank you to council for showing compassion to the patients of our area who may no longer have to travel or use illegal means to obtain a drug that helps their suffering and pain. Surely, the writer has compassion for these terminal patients who are suffering severe pain? I’m sure the writer knows that different medicines affect people in different ways. While medical marijuana may not help one person, it may ease another person’s suffering or increase his or her appetite. I personally think people should have a choice when it comes to their lives, or deaths, and not have somebody else telling them how they should live or deciding things for them.

I’m thinking about drinking a beer, smoking a cigar, eating a bunch of greasy food and watching an R-rated movie, but I wouldn’t think of indulging in these activities without getting the moral approval of the writer. All are legal activities.

Eric Timmons

3rd Ward councilman