Naperville City Council Rejects Occam’s Razor

The Naperville city council voted to deny the sale of recreational marijuana, however they kept the door open by supporting a non-binding referendum allowing residents to vote their preference. All that was necessary was to choose the wording for the referendum.

When the Naperville city council is given the choice to obfuscate voters or enlighten them, they chose the former. It happened again during the October 15 city council meeting when council members, chose a more wordy form of a non-binding referendum regarding the sale of recreational marijuana in Naperville.

Occam’s Razor is a scientific and philosophic rule which states, “The simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex”, in other words ‘keep it simple’. Lawyer’s can’t keep it simple; it’s not in their DNA. Councilman Patrick Kelly, an attorney, was one of the five favoring a 32-word version of the non-binding referendum rather than Patty Gustin’s 16-word version or Mayor Steve Chirico’s 21-word version which were voted down.

Watch and listen as Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico states his 21-word simple version:

“Shall the City of Naperville, in light of the state legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis, allow its sale within Naperville’s jurisdiction”.

Followed by council member Patty Gustin’s 16-word version:

“Shall the City of Naperville allow the sale of recreational adult-use cannabis within its jurisdiction”.

Finally councilman and attorney Patrick Kelly presents the 32-word lengthy version selected for the referendum:

“Shall the City of Naperville, in light of State legislation legalizing the possession, consumption, and sale of recreational adult-use cannabis, allow the sale of recreational adult-use cannabis within its jurisdiction”.

Considering the Pledge of Allegiance has 31 words, and the Bill of Rights (First ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution) has 5 amendments with fewer than 32 words, the city council surely could have approved a referendum more concise that the one they approved. Rather than trying to impress residents with how clever they can be with word construction, why not focus on the audience, the residents of Naperville, and keep the wording simple. Occam would have been proud.

Show 3 Comments


  1. Gerard Hubert Schilling

    How about – Should the city help in destroying our youth by selling Marijuana to get a few measly bucks in our tax coffers?

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    There seems to be some confusion on the part of a lot of people against Naperville allowing dispensaries. Opting Out does not mean opting out of the legalization of marijuana in Naperville along with the rest of the state on January 1st.

    It will still be legal for anyone 21 or older to purchase and possess up to 30 grams a marijuana products at a time and use it in Naperville, just like they could any where else in the State. They can also, if they have a medical marijuana id, purchase seeds to grow up to 5 plants at a time and keep as much of the marijuana these plant yield (even if over 30 grams) in the location were these plants were grown.

    The fact is, that in close to 60 years of the war on drugs, children in our community are not any safer today then they were before this war. In fact, by all indications, they are less safe. The desire of black-market dealers to sell a product the is not regulated or illegal has resulted in the production of things like synthetic marijuana which has turned out to be far more dangerous then marijuana and even lethal which marijuana is not.

    It has also resulted in these same dealers lacing marijuana with substances that are highly addictive, like opioids (fentanyl) resulting in young people becoming addicts to these deadly drugs without their knowledge or intent.

    As I have posted before the CDC report on adolescent use showed that in community were marijuana is legal adolescents have less interest in trying marijuana as well has lower actual usage.

    Also these dispensaries would not be able to legally sell to anyone under the age of 21 and because the number of dispensaries are so much smaller and tightly regulated then liquor store, there have been no instances of under age purchases of marijuana from any of the dispensaries in other states were marijuana is legal. So there is no reason to believe children in Naperville will suddenly have easier access to marijuana then they do today.

    The idea or myth that having dispensaries in our community would make it less safe for children is simply not support by any facts. Such claims or simply propaganda designed to scare parents into thinking marijuana dispensaries are a deadly threat to their children, which they are not.

    What is a deadly threat to their children is the far less regulated and omnipresent liquor stores and retail outlets that sell alcohol in our community. If parent really want to do something to increase the safety of children in our community they would be spending their time on the alcohol threat.

  3. Jim Haselhorst

    This referendum simply give the residents of Naperville the opportunity to have their voice heard on the issue of dispensaries if they want to have it heard. It does not mean dispensaries are coming to Naperville.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *