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City Council listens to taxpayers on recreational pot

SYCAMORE – There was no vote Monday at the Sycamore City Council on whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana but two Sycamore residents shared their strong feelings on keeping the town as is.

“I love Sycamore,” said Ron Floit, a longtime Sycamore resident. “It’s a great town. I’ve lived here 69 years. I want us to continue to be a great town. … I think Sycamore is a better town without it.”

Floit said he’d like to see Sycamore rise above the decisions state government made in Springfield about recreational sales of marijuana. He wants Sycamore to keep itself the way it is.

Floit asked the city council, of which there was only one absence, four questions.

“Would you like Sycamore to be a town that sells marijuana to your children?” he asked. “Would you like Sycamore to sell it to your grandchildren? Your spouse, your extended family? If you wouldn’t want to sell to your own family, why to someone else’s family?”

Lillian Harbecke spoke second. She also spoke at the Oct. 7 public hearing about the ordinance to allow or prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana.

“I love Sycamore,” she said. “I’ve lived here 55 years. I’ve raised my kids, grandkids and great-grandkids [here].”

Harbecke said she likes to walk around Sycamore and how she can even do that at night. She talked about how the children are safe and questioned what might become of her hometown if the city council votes to allow recreational marijuana sales.

She pointed out the signs on police cars that say “Just say no to drugs,” and questioned what kind of message the adults are sending the children if they allow Sycamore to sell the drug.

Harbecke pleaded with the council to keep Sycamore safe.

“Please, I’m asking you to take a stand and say ‘no,’” she said.

Brian Gregory, Sycamore city manager, dispelled the notion that a vote was happening Monday night to people in the meeting room. He also let them know that Sycamore cannot prohibit marijuana because state law allows it.

“This would bring our ordinance in line with state law,” he said.

He also pointed out how the ordinance, should the City Council approve it, would allow for adults 21 and over to purchase marijuana, not children.

Also, if the council voted to allow the dispensaries one of the stipulations is no on-premises usage, which means if someone bought the drug from a dispensary, they could not then use it there.

Second reading of the ordinance and action are scheduled for Nov. 4.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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