Court files across several cities in the U.S. states have pending cases on marijuana legalization. Whereas some states are already dancing to the tune of marijuana legalization, some are struggling to accept the green gold.
In June 2019, Illinois became the 11th U.S. State to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In a bid to redevelop communities languishing in poverty via 25% marijuana tax revenue, Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislated the law that would see residents buy up to 30 grams of marijuana and non-residents 15 grams at a time.
Although a couple of cities in Illinois are supporting the Governor’s decision, some cities are closing doors to recreational marijuana altogether.
West Chicago city has already voted against the sale of legal marijuana for recreational purposes in its cannabis dispensaries.
The city voted against the Illinois State’s Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act that permits adults to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes.
On 4th November 2019, a heated debate surfaced among West Chicago residents ahead of the vote. The majority opposed the sale of cannabis for recreational use in the city’s marijuana dispensaries.
Residents expressed concerns for their teenagers and children. They also feared for rising crimes, and the likelihood of the community tainting its reputation.
Alderman Alton Hallett acknowledged the conscience of West Chicago council members’ 8-5 vote that saw the city get rid of recreational marijuana from its shelves.
Speaking after the vote, Alderman James Beifuss said, “These people spoke so passionately about an issue that goes with one of our greatest values: protecting our children.”
Those opposed to the vote argued that the 3% more tax that the city would get from legal recreational marijuana would mean an increase in property taxes.
Supporting her argument for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, Alderman Lori Chassee says, with or without accepting recreational marijuana, the city would still bear the rising costs of police training.
Chassee says. “I don’t think we can afford to bury our heads in the sand.” “We will still have to all of those consequences, but will derive none of the benefits.”
Aldermen Rebecca Stout and Heather Brown pointed out the importance of regulating and making marijuana safer instead of opting out.
Although Mayor Ruben Pineda highlights the business benefits of cannabis dispensaries, he says they are not crucial for the city.
He says. “I would prefer not to have them here and have West Chicago keep going in the right direction.”