Rally urges Naperville to ‘opt out’ of legalized marijuana sales

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Close to 200 Naperville residents opposed to the possibility of the city ultimately enabling the sale of recreational marijuana held a rally downtown Saturday urging city officials to “opt out.”

“Naperville has constructed its reputation more than the years as a loved ones friendly neighborhood,” mentioned Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, one particular of the rally’s organizers. “There is practically nothing loved ones friendly about marijuana.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Speakers at the rally integrated medical doctors, city council members, parents and neighborhood organizers who mentioned the city would see a rise in crime, drug use by youths and mental wellness troubles if recreational sales of marijuana have been permitted.

“We’ve heard from specialist right after specialist you get expanded drug use, particularly amongst young individuals, in communities that enable marijuana sales,” mentioned Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne.

Having said that, Dan Allen challenged these beliefs and referred to as the opposition to legalized marijuana “fear-primarily based.” Allen was the lone counterprotester at the rally, saying that the drug had helped him with his anxiousness and other healthcare maladies.

“Fear is a drug that Americans are imbibing at a heavy pace,” Allen mentioned. “I’ve skilled the rewards of marijuana and there’s been a lot of research displaying the use assists get individuals off other heavier, far more risky drugs like opioids.”

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Naperville officials have estimated that a shop would have to create $10 million in sales annually for the city to get $475,000 in tax income.

In Colorado, exactly where recreational use of marijuana has been legal for far more than 5 years, the state took in far more than $266 million in income from marijuana sales in 2018. With roughly 570 licensed retail shops statewide, the typical Colorado shop was accountable for virtually $470,000 in tax, charge and license income.

But opponents do not see this as a tax situation, but rather one particular of morality.

“I consider tax income and performing the suitable factor are two distinct challenges,” mentioned longtime Naperville resident Ed Neill. “If a person believes that it leads to undesirable points, then the city must opt out and every thing I’ve ever study says it leads to undesirable points.”

The rally was held in downtown’s Central Park a couple of blocks away from the city’s nightclub district. Naperville police usually have to add further patrols on the weekends in an work to curb misbehavior by bar patrons. In the previous, police ran sting operations intended to catch violators urinating in the city’s parking garages as properly.

“I’m not pleased with all the bars either and I consider that is a mess, but now you’d be compounding it with marijuana sales,” mentioned Naperville resident Kay Irwin.

Naperville’s city council is anticipated to vote on enabling recreational sales in the coming months ahead of statewide legalization Jan. 1.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        



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