Today, I came across an article that outlined the reasons why the Libertyville village board voted to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana in town. FYI, Illinois has passed a bill legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana effective January 1, 2020. The Daily Herald article piqued my interest as I was interested to learn how and why the village came to that conclusion. Text in bold listed below includes my responses to several quotes from the article.
Libertyville bans pot sales, saying revenue wouldn't outweigh pitfalls. Daily Herald, Writer, Mick Zawislak. October 23, 2019 7:52 pm
The Libertyville village board Tuesday unanimously voted to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana in town, deciding the promise of additional revenue would not offset potential pitfalls.
State law authorizes the production, sale and use of recreational marijuana beginning Jan. 1, and gives local governments the authority to impose additional taxes on sales. But towns also can opt out and ban sales.
"The only reason I can find for approving recreational marijuana is the tax revenue it would generate, and that number is very elusive," Mayor Terry Weppler told an audience of about 50 before the vote Tuesday.
Mayor Weppler stated the only benefit for having the sale of recreational marijuana is tax revenue. According to the article, he stated that number is very elusive but didn't go into additional details. This article later outlined that Libertyville could expect revenue to be about $80,000 to $100,000. Does Mayor Weppler not agree with that amount mentioned or does he still believe it's difficult to determine?
All six trustees expressed similar sentiment. They cited concerns such as the potential risks to children and adolescents; how it would reflect on the town's family image and values; the lack of effective testing for driving while impaired, which could lead to enforcement difficulties and potential legal costs; and public sentiment against the measure.
All trustees are free to vote against this resolution. How many liquor stores sell alcohol 7 days a week? How many gas stations and convenient stores sell tobacco and electronic cigarettes 7 days a week? It appears to me, they have an old mindset between alcohol, cigarettes and recreational marijuana. In other words, it's been illegal until now, so the stigma towards marijuana will continue for years to come.
The article also mentioned that having a dispensary in Libertyville would be a risk to children and adolescents. Let's prevent it from being in our community (even though it will be in surrounding communities) and hope nothing bad happens.
Also, there was no mention that marijuana is not physically addictive, unlike alcohol. When will the village board began hearings about how the squeaky clean image of Libertyville will address the heroin problem in Libertyville? Or will the extent of that problem be more "hush-hush" to main a well-polished image.
"There are too many downsides here," added Trustee Pete Garrity. "I'm not sure what the financial gain would be of having a dispensary in town. There are many unknowns."
Downsides? Trustee Pete, could you please explain. As a trustee, aren't you responsible to determine how other towns deal with dispensaries? If indeed there have been studies to show many downsides, that would be useful to include in your argument.
Trustees in May urged state legislators to slow the process and approved a resolution opposing the legalization of marijuana for nonmedical uses. It asserted that "social costs appear to far outweigh any short-term revenue gains."
Legalizing marijuana could be a short-term revenue grab or will be a consistent tax assistance. That's a difficult calculus to determine. Regardless of the answer, it's also being regulated by the state. By legalization, you are putting controls in place and decreasing the criminal element in the sale and distribution of marijuana.
Trustee Donna Johnson said she recognizes the benefits of medical use but there are gaps to be filled in how recreational marijuana could be integrated into the community.
Gaps to be filled? What's this all about? Elaboration would be helpful. Did the trustees look at other states that have legalized marijuana to see how other communities have deal with it being integrated into the community?
The DuPage County Board voted 10-8 Tuesday to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas, citing adverse impacts on public health and "additional costs and burdens" on law enforcement and the court system.
It would be helpful for further elaboration and clarity by the author and the DuPage County Board. The board is prohibiting the sale in unincorporated areas by citing adverse impacts on public health and "additional costs and burdens" on law enforcement and the court system. How will legalized marijuana add additional cost to law enforcement? Or the court system? Could they cite actual studies to support their decision. Is this actually an issue in other unincorporated communities? If it's not available in an unincorporated community but legal within that same state, what will prevent someone from that community to drive 45 minutes to purchase it elsewhere? Whether these communities know this or not, once it's legal, people will seek it out elsewhere and guess what, will bring it back to their community regardless of no local dispensary.
"Our reputation, our image is not for sale," said resident Frank Berardi, who praised village officials for cultivating that over the years.
First, I don't see how marijuana sales in Libertyville would hurt its image. How can that be qualified? It's just conjecture. Second, was that a 'slip of the tongue' by resident Frank Berardi who said the village's image has been cultivated over the years?
Third, Mr. Berardi, are you aware of the strip mall just north of downtown? This includes a store for body piercing, tattoo parlor and Lovers Lane (which includes S & M products). What about those several tattoo parlors on Peterson Road in North Libertyville? How many businesses sell beer, wine and alcohol? One must also include the fact that many restaurants turn a good profit by selling beer and wine in downtown Libertyville.
Are some of these behaviors and products socially problematic or socially acceptable? It depends on how these products are marketed and whether they get in the hands of those who are of legal age or are mature enough not to abuse them. In other words, having a dispensary in town is not unlike some of these other more established businesses. Years ago, tattoos were not as socially acceptable but over time, they have become more a norm (although some citizens still cringe at someone who has many tattoos). Because of the stigma of marijuana, at this point, the social norms of Libertyville would lean toward this business being more socially problematic. However, a time goes on, recreational marijuana will become more and more socially acceptable.