Lawmakers in Springfield are giddy, with their decision to legalize recreational marijuana sales in Illinois. They couldn’t be happier, tripping over each other to get their pictures taken after the vote to free the weed and plant the seed. But now Naperville city officials could be a buzzkill as they consider whether or not the Naperville city council will opt out approving the retail sales of cannabis.
Naperville city council members Kevin Coyne and Patty Gustin hosted a panel discussion regarding the burning issue. Coyne and Gustin are the ‘odd couple’; one is focused, the other one is discombobulated. The ‘focused’ one’s last name rhymes with ‘coin’ as in quarter, as in ‘quarter-ounce’. The panel discussion was titled, ‘It’s not your mama’s marijuana’. Apparently Coyne’s and Gustin’s mamas were a lot different than my mama. Any money left over in the Watchdog household after paying bills was used for food, and a 10-cent double-stick popsicle on Saturdays.
It’s possible that city officials could give a thumbs-down to selling Ganja in Naperville, which means that folks would have to drive a short distance to a neighboring town to get their fix, but that wouldn’t be a problem for the good folks of Naperville, since a hefty number already do that to buy gas, since Naperville city officials jacked up the sales tax on fuel a few years ago. Family-friendly Napervillians could go for a family outing to the next town over, for a fill-up on gas while stopping for a fill-up of recreational weed. Whatever money saved could be used towards the kids tuition.
However, if city officials decide to allow the sale of marijuana in Naperville, that could be the answer to all the empty store fronts. Think of the possibilities. Naperville city officials would no longer have to be concerned about a string of car washes along Ogden Avenue. It might be a good time to invest in Bic lighters.
Based on the latest voting records of Napervillians they already are weedheads so it doesn’t matter.
What is getting over looked in all this discussion is that Naperville already has a medical marijuana dispensary. So marijuana has already come to Naperville!!!
The new law gives this dispensary the legal right to sell to the public starting January 1st 2020. So unless the Naperville City Council is planning on passing and ordinance that would violate the legal rights of this dispensary (under the new law), all this discussion is moot.
And if the City Council does pass such an ordinance it would only result in the entire legal recreational marijuana industry providing our local dispensary with all the funds and support they need to get an injunction stopping enforcement of this ordinance and eventually a court ruling against the city; since letting such an ordinance stand would set a dangerous legal precedents for this industry.
So again not sure what all this talk is accomplishing other then providing these two council members with a platform to start campaigning for elected office beyond city council.
Remember that Naperville doesn’t have an alcohol problem as people drink in Aurora and are pulled over while driving through Naperville to get to Lisle.
The best way to prevent a sale is to tax it to death. Remember there was no carry out alcohol sales in downtown…unless Walgreens would change their business practices. At the end of the day, the almighty tax dollar will have the loudest voice. Drink up, smoke up, drop out!
“Giddy” is the right word to describe the nationwide marijuana gold rush that will supposedly save us from our goofy spending habits. A review article in the New England Journal of Medicine (June 5, 2014) by Volkol et al concludes that certain adverse effects of pot use can be assumed with medium to high levels of confidence. Those include: Addiction to marijuana; abnormal brain development; progression of use to other drugs; schizophrenia; depression and anxiety; diminished lifetime achievement; motor vehicle accidents; symptoms of chronic bronchitis. The authors determined that moderate pot use poses a higher risk of an motor vehicle accident than does moderate alcohol consumption. Other studies have found that tax revenues from recreational pot are modest to feeble. Setting age restrictions on sales will not keep the drug out of under-aged hands. and in California and Canada, legalized pot is becoming more expensive, driving users to the lower-cost black market (as was predicted by many observers). Councilwoman Judy Broadhead’s assertion that limiting storefronts to areas outside the city center will help Naperville maintain its pristine image is (you choose the adjective). Marijuana can be a valuable therapeutic tool, but political leaders like J.B. Pritzker and Steve Chirico need to view recreational use and storefront sales with proper skepticism.
Look at the stats from states were recreational marijuana is legal. On average only 1 in 20 cities in these states actually have a dispensary located in them yet all of these cities experience the same impact according to the very studies you quote. Naperville opting out will not spare our community any of the impacts you mentioned.
What it does do is prevent the city from having any control over were these dispensaries are located (currently they can only be located in Industrial areas – like our current Medical dispensary which is located in a space in an industrial park were it can not be seen from any street. You have to go looking for it). Before this dispensary was approved another company was working to put a dispensary in an empty retail space on RT 59 that faced RT 59 and was next to the train station. This work stopped when our city council approved our medical dispensary. Clearly a big part of the planned Aurora dispensary was using this high visibility location to attracted Naperville customers.
So if Naperville Opts out these plans to place these dispensaries in high visibility locations around of community’s borders will be resurrected. If people are willing to fly to Colorado, Washington and California to legally purchase marijuana they will clearly travel to where ever in the Chicagoland area they have to go and then bring their purchased marijuana back to Naperville for use.
The reality is businesses do not chose a location based on were they think they can convince the most people to do business with them. They locate their businesses were studies tell them the customers are all ready located, were the demand for their goods and service already exist. And in this case that is Naperville.
As to sells tax revenue, the information is all over the place. I have read studies that claim Boulder does not get that much revenue for this tax. Yet, when the Mayor and Chief of Police of Boulder were contacted by Naperville city staff and asked about this, they provided an exact amount on a per dispensary bases and the amount Boulder get annually is in the millions. Regardless of what the amount is our city will be incurring additional expenses just in new training and equipment for our police force and fire department EMTs. And I do not see how any amount of sells tax revenue that can be generated to pay these new costs can be considered insignificant.
Naperville needs to Opt In because it is the only way our community can have any say in how the state wide legalization of recreational marijuana will impact or community. Opting out is to opt out of having any say or control and abdicating that control to the officials of other cities.