Bolingbrook to not participate in legalization of marijuana
Mayor Roger C. Claar says there are other activities community can participate in other than using recreational marijuana use
Last updated 10/2/2019 at 12:06pm
While Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker has signed legislation that makes recreational marijuana legal in Illinois, Bolingbrook will not participate in that movement.
The bill allowing possession and sales to begin on Jan. 1 that was approved by the House and Senate, makes Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis and the first state in which a legislature approved commercial sales.
Under the law, recreational cannabis can be sold to anyone over the age of 21 and consumed in private homes and business starting next year. Although marijuana will be available over the counter to more than 12 million people in Illinois, Bolingbrook had a different agenda in mind about the heavily talked about topic.
For the city of Bolingbrook and Mayor Roger C. Claar, the idea behind this movement was just something that he said he didn't think would be a positive outcome for the Bolingbrook community.
"Philosophically I think our government has turned to Drugs and gambling to balance our budget," Claar said. "There's plenty of places you can get it in Illinois, I just don't think we need that in our society."
With five out of the six board of trustees voting against the legalization of marijuana, Claar said he made the recommendation, but did not collaborate with the trustees on making the decision.
While legalizing marijuana is expected to generate revenue in the coming budget year in Illinois, help restore poverty and crime-ridden communities and fund substance abuse, mental health and law enforcement services, Claar said there are other avenues where funds can be received and allocated.
"We have plenty of youth activities and book stores on top of other services for the community to participate in," Claar said. "We don't have tattoo parlors and we won't have medical marijuana sales here."
As far as community backlash or those who don't necessarily agree with the decision of Bolingbrook, Claar said that he hasn't heard many critics about the decision.
"I've only heard a couple things on Facebook where people didn't really agree with what we're doing here," Claar said. "Most people have been in favor of this and like I said I think it will have a very positive effect on our community."