Naperville’s Burning Issue Could Be Pot Of Gold

The Naperville city council has done a lot of listening and talking about selling recreational marijuana within city limits and they are not done yet. Though the council voted 6 to 3 in September to prohibit the sale recreational marijuana, it later approved a non-binding referendum be placed on the ballot for voters to ‘voice’ their opinion. The only question was should it be placed on the March 17, 2020 ballot, or the November 3, 2020 ballot.

After a lengthy discussion (aren’t they all) they decided by a vote of 5 to 4 for the March 3, 2020 ballot. Watch and listen to the council as they vote for the date of non-binding referendum:

Naperville city council members voting for that date included:

  • Judy Brodhead
  • Patrick Kelly
  • John Krummen
  • Theresa Sullivan
  • Benny White

Those on the losing end of the discussion, voting for the November date included:

  • Mayor Steve Chirico
  • Kevin Coyne
  • Paul Hinterlong
  • Patty Gustin

It was thought that the November general election would bring out more voters, but the idea went up in smoke when the March primary election got the nod. Naperville’s clouded marijuana debate has been hazy at best, hence the non-binding referendum was determined to clear the air for a more accurate picture on how voters feel about the hot issue.

Since it’s a non-binding referendum, council members can choose to ignore the wishes of voters as they did with District representation. Voters chose that option which didn’t please council members, so a re-do vote was conducted, and the council got their wish when at-large representation magically won the vote.

Some council members have stated they would honor the results of the non-binding pot referendum, however we know how that can work. The good news is that a referendum, even a non-binding referendum is a feel-good exercise.

So March 17, 2020 is the big date. Until that date, and after January 1, 2020 recreational cannibus can be purchased hassle-free in surrounding suburbs. And after that date, no matter what the result of the vote, cannibus can be sold in surrounding suburbs. So what’s the difference? The difference is will you need to drive 5 miles to buy it in Naperville or drive 6 miles to get it elsewhere? That’s the real result of the referendum.

Show 10 Comments


  1. Gerard Hubert Schilling

    The rehab costs to society to fix the kids will, by a factor of 100, cost more than any revenue derived from it. Trading bucks for kids is a disgrace and shows how far we have declined in our values and principles.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the legalization of marijuana and its decriminalization. If this group of people, who’s sole area of expertise it what’s best for children, supports legalization then it to seems reasonable to challenge any claims of how much of a risk marijuana is to kids.

      I have to assume the AAP knows more about the risks and benefits of marijuana to adolescents then any other group in this country. And doing what the American Association of Pediatrics believes is in the best interest of children seems to me to be a no brainier.

      As to social cost of rehabilitation I have to ask how they compare to the social cost of kid that are alcoholics. And how do you determine the social cost of a children that dies from an alcohol overdose? You do not have to worry about such a cost for a child addicted to marijuana because there is now record of anyone, let alone a child, ever dying from a marijuana overdose.

      To attack marijuana on these terms while ignoring the tsunami of destruction alcohol reaps daily on the children of this country is simply hypocrisy.

      • Gerard Hubert Schilling

        What’s hypocritical is to destroy society by introducing into it that which goes to children first like vaping and weed oils killing and mainming many of them. As responsible and caring adults it’s our obligation to protect them from our greed and excesses. As to the American Association of Pediatrics this is the same association that sees no harm is administering chemical castration drugs to boys who think they are girls (preteen) and LGBT instruction in schools should start in kindergarten. Thanks but no thanks to their advice. BTW There are studies (psychiatric) underway which indicate use of this drug is demotivating to developing teens and has long term detrimental developmental effects on teens brains. As usual the unintended consequences are always worse then the original problem. Lastly, I’m not in favor of criminalizing it but adamently against incentivizing it by selling it openly even to the point of vending machines.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          Funny the Opt Out group could not stop talking about (and misinforming about) a couple of studies done in 2014 and published by the AAP. They claimed these studies were of paramount significant because they were done by the AAP (not true the AAP does not fund or conduct studies or research).

          If you reject the AAP as the most knowledgeable professional group about the well being of children, who do you suggest is better?

          As to studies, it was a study that linked autism to vaccinations. This study was completely debunked and cost the author his medical license, but still people believe its true (even though children that have received no vaccinations have been diagnosed with autism). The reality is studies are highly susceptible to analyst bias which is why their only reliable use is as guidance on what and how to do clinical research. Finally, on studies, there are also studies that have already been published that concluded no adverse long term mental or emotional conditions results from marijuana use in either adults or adolescents.

          No one is talking about vending machine sell (it is illegal to sell cigarettes and alcohol out of vending machines what makes you think you could sell marijuana this way?). Selling something is not an incentive, never has been, never well been. Incentives are things that are done to encourage and promote sells. You have to have sells before you can have incentives.

          If what you are trying to say is that legally selling marijuana well motivate adolescents to try or use marijuana then you need to have a talk with the CDC which just published a report that concluded there was a drop in adolescent interest in and use of marijuana in states were it has been legalized.

          If you are trying to say that legal selling of marijuana will result in increase interest and use by people 21 and older, who cares!!! If they are old enough to die serving in the military and vote for who will be running our government organizations they are old enough to make this decision for themselves as well.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Yes, there are Naperville residents that smoke marijuana. Remember the state decriminalized it in 2016 so until January 1st if you’re caught with marijuana it is a civil fine (like a parking ticket), so for the last 3 years getting caught with marijuana was not serious.

    Yes, Aurora has not only opted in but has already change their ordinances to allow adult use dispensaries. So you are right, it will not be a long drive. Further Chicago Mayor Lightfoot shrunk the exclusion zone in the loop area of the city. Currently both Union and Ogilvie stations are outside this exclusion zone so it is possible Chicago could allow dispensaries in these heavily traffic commuter stations.

    Could city council ignore the results of this referendum? Sure, but the only reason a couple of these council members voted to accept an Opt Out ordinance was because they were promised this referendum. So if this referendum to allow dispensaries is supported by the majority these two votes could easily switch to allow dispensaries.

  3. Jim Haselhorst

    Gerard Hubert Schilling did you actually read the study you linked too? It clearly states there is a dependence on the AKT1 gene which is a gene common to all people that develop psychosis whether they use marijuana, alcohol, nicotine or any other drug )or no drug at all). Basically all this study points out is if a person already possess the genetic code to develop psychosis, then using marijuana may (I repeat may!!!) cause the user to develop this mental condition.

    Again there are lots of studies out there that contradict each other because of the very nature of how studies are conducted compared to scientific clinical research. Here is a link that claims several studies indicate marijuana use enhances brain development.

    We can trade these links ad nauseam if you want, but it will not prove anything. And none of it will answer the real questions before us, which are: Does having dispensaries in Naperville represent any greater risk to our community and its children then having these dispensaries on our border with Aurora? And is there any data that indicates having dispensaries in Naperville creates a greater risk then that already created by the legalization of marijuana starting January 1st?

    All the information I have come across says NO! And one study by the CDC (since you suddenly like government agencies, WOW who would have guessed based on your past posts) concluded that having dispensaries in a community reduces adolescent interest and use of marijuana. Here is that link:

    • Gerard Hubert Schilling

      From your own CDC report you listed. Use of marijuana at an early age can affect memory, school performance, attention, and learning; conclusions have been mixed regarding its impact on mental health conditions, including psychosis, depression, and anxiety (1–3).

      You delude yourself that this crap is harmless and wont negatively impact and effect our kids. I stand on my previous statements.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        Use of any drug, including alcohol and over the counter cold medicines, can affect school performance, attention and learning. So can not getting enough sleep or enough to eat. These a temporary condition that go away as the underlining cause is taken away.

        I never claimed any drug (including alcohol and nicotine) is harmless. They all have the potential for abuse which can be very harmful.

        But, once again, I will point out these are all possible outcomes of legal marijuana and have nothing to do with the issue of whether the marijuana involved comes from an Aurora dispensary, a Naperville dispensary or some black-market dealer in Naperville.

        The issue is the pros and cons of having a dispensary in Naperville nothing more.

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