"It will make lots of money. We need the revenue."
We agree. It will will add some taxes for the village. However, in the long-run the costs will inevitably outweigh the revenue, just like with alcohol and tobacco. According to the CDC, for every $1 raised in alcohol and tobacco taxes, $10 is spent on associated costs. In one study from Colorado, the cost for every $1 raised from marijuana revenue is already over $4.50. In Canada, marijuana related traffic fatalitiesalone have already have reached $1 billion.
VILLAGE REPUTATION What is the cost of losing a family-friendly reputation because marijuana dispensaries were allowed in your village? Vernon Hills is doing great with an efficient budget. Keep up the good work. We don’t need marijuana money. The Lake County Office of Budget Control estimates that each dispensary will raise about $150,000 for the village. Assuming 10,500 homes in Vernon Hills, this is equivalent to $14 per household. Is it worth it? In the end, the ONLY ones who will prosper will be the marijuana dispensary owners. Certainly not our youth and communities.
"People need cannibus it for medicinal purposes."
We already have medical marijuana in Illinois and that is not going away. In fact, it will be less expensive than retail marijuana due to lower taxation. Furthermore, medical marijuana cardholders can grow their own marijuana. If the medical marijuana program isn’t working, then fix that. The answer is NOT opening up a market for another addictive drug to anyone over 21.
"It’s better than alcohol and tobacco, which ruinso many lives and costs society so much."
The answer to this problem is NOT to add ANOTHER addictive drug. People don’t switch from alcohol to marijuana. They just ADD marijuana. Furthermore, this statement is not based on science. Indeed, for kids, a recent study showed that marijuana was worse for teens because of their growing brain.
"It will be regulated and safer."
These products are NOT regulated like people assume. The FDA is the one with the expertise to regulate food / tobacco / alcohol / medicine in the US. States are NOT equipped to do so. A recent report from the Secretary of State in Oregon (3 years into their retail marijuana program) showed that only 3% of Oregon’s retail stores and only 1/3 of its growers have been inspected for shortcomings, like molds, metals, and bacteria. The state admitted: “Oregon’s marijuana testing program cannot ensure that test results are reliable, and products are safe.” They failed to meet even basic standards.
Does anyone think that Illinois will do better? In our current vaping crisis, 86% of the patients have reported vaping THC. In one of the deaths, the person reported purchasing the THC cartridge from a legal dispensary in Oregon.
"Kids are getting their hands on it anyway. Use won’t increase. We trust our kids."
The substance MOST abused by teens in our community is alcohol. WHY? Because it is legal and normalized. It is available for purchase by older siblings or friends and often accessed by stealing it from parents. By allowing marijuana to be sold in Vernon Hills, we will increase access to kids and further normalize its use. Furthermore, the amount of advertising our teens will be exposed to will increase, and, as we know, advertising works on our teens. Look how the e-cigarette industry has hooked our kids on nicotine in a short amount of time. They have done this with advertising and marketing very “cool” products. Currently, the medical marijuana dispensaries sell products called Bubble Gum, Brownie Scout Vape, Tropicana Cookies, Durban Haze, 707 Headband, Blue Dream, Alien Orange Candy, Sunset Sherbert , DJ Flo, HeadWrecke, and Bubba Kush. These products sound pretty “cool” and NOT like products marketed to adults. Do we want these addictive and dangerous products sold in Vernon Hills?
"The Dispensary will card. Drug dealers don’t."
Again, look at the argument above. When a product is legal and accessible, kids can still get their hands on it. Currently, 25% of our high school students vape yet, it is illegal for them to purchase these products.
"It’s legal in Illinois and people will go to the next town over to buy it. Why shouldn’t we get the revenue?"
We don’t have any studies on marijuana use in towns that have a dispensary compared to those that don’t. However, we do have some studies regarding Tobacco 21. The town of Needham, Massachusetts raised the age at which to purchase tobacco. Opponents claimed that youth would just go to the town next door and buy tobacco. It turns out they didn’t. Needham saw a decrease in its youth tobacco use rate while the neighboring town did not.
Some people might go to Mundelein to buy it. But won’t the board at least feel as though they tried to do what they could to protect VH residents? When the first car accident happens, VH trustees can rest assured that they did everything to protect their citizens.
"Marijuana isn’t that big of a deal. It’s harmless."
This is what the marijuana industry wants us to believe. However, the THC concentrates being sold today are 6 - 25 TIMES higher than they were in the 1990s, when the average THC concentration was 2 - 4%. Today, the flower is, on average, 25% THC and the concentrates can be up to 95%. It is a much different drug and more dangerous. The higher concentrations lead to more addiction, more mental illness and even psychosis. For every 6 teens who try marijuana, 1 becomes addicted. For every 10 adults who try marijuana, 1 becomes addicted. This is NOT a harmless drug.