FARRELL is going to pot. And that’s a great thing!

OK, let me explain. A recent story in The Herald detailed the new medical marijuana facility that opened recently in Farrell and the impact it could have on the community. That business could be the catalyst that spurs a rebirth of the city. 

FarmaceuticalRX has a state license to grow and process the plants, and to undertake research and development projects. 

And while marijuana is controversial, its use for medical purposes is a boon to people with various ailments. The reduction of extreme pain alone is a benefit for many people.

Recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Pennsylvania, although some states have already OK’d it. And the taxation alone brings in millions to the coffers in those states.

Legalization also would relieve pressure on the court system. If you look at police news in The Herald, you’ll find many reports of people arrested for drug use. While prohibition is understandable for people who are selling more potent illegal drugs, arresting people for using marijuana is a waste of time for the court system. 

When I was a student at Kent State University in the 1960s, pot use was rampant. I saw trucks pull up in front of fraternity houses to unload garbage cans full of marijuana. And mostly it was no big deal. It was not a gateway drug to stronger stuff.

Police even looked the other way, but then again, they knew many of those kids were going to be shipped off to Vietnam as soon as they graduated.

FarmaceuticalRX will provide decent-paying jobs for about 50 or more people. More importantly, it could attract other businesses. 

While Farrell was once a thriving steel town, the city, like so many others in the Rust Belt, has suffered in the last few decades with businesses closing. While the city will never return to the greatness it once enjoyed, there is hope, thanks to FarmaceuticalRX’s possible spinoff benefit for other businesses.

We have seen that kind of resurgence in Sharon, where people like Jim Landino, Mike Lisac and the Winner family have invested in the city and helped draw in other enterprises. 

Hopefully, the same will happen in the sister city of Farrell.

• While Halloween is over, there’s more trick-or-treat ahead. If you don’t show up to vote Tuesday, the trick is on you because the wrong people could be running your lives.

For me, voting is a treat and I will do it as long as I am able to make it to the polls. 

While turnout is higher for presidential elections, you should realize that local officials can directly affect your lives. They set your taxes, they determine your zoning laws, they control so many things.

And this is an important election because we will elect Mercer County commissioners and two new judges. Then there are school board and municipal races. 

We have a new and improved – hopefully – voting system to try out as well.

If you skipped Halloween because of the weather, don’t miss a chance to vote, rain or shine. You could regret it.

LYNN SATERNOW of The Herald writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com

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