Naperville City Council opts out of legalized marijuana sales
The Naperville City Council ultimately rejected the authorization of selling adult-use cannabis and cannabis products in retail markets during a council meeting July 16 with a 5-4 vote.
Council members Kevin Coyne, Patty Gustin, Paul Hinterlong, Patrick Kelly and Theresa Sullivan voted for the prohibition of cannabis sales while Mayor Steve Chirico and council members Judith Brodhead, John Krummen and Benjamin White voted in favor of the distribution.
Numerous Naperville citizens attended the meeting to speak for or against the topic. Notable examples include cannabis dispensary Green Thumb Industries owner and operator Ben Kovlar and Dr. Aaron Weiner. Weiner commented how the large number of youth in the area would make selling cannabis dangerous. Other public comments addressed the possibility of being able to sell in a controlled environment and the lower chances of drug abuse when sales are regulated.
The council discussed various aspects of cannabis and cannabis sales, including the stigma behind alcohol and marijuana, links to THC levels and mental health issues, using revenue to donate to drug prevention programs, problems with youth access, sales benefits and the 30% increase in vaping in the community.
The close vote was a factor for the council meeting not concluding until almost 1 a.m. July 17.
Coyne posted live footage of the council meeting and an official testimony on his official Facebook page.