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Sycamore city council approves recreational marijuana rules

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore City Council voted, 4-2, to pass an ordinance to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city, and one of the council members explained why she voted for it.

City Council members Pete Paulsen, Chuck Stowe, Alan Bauer and Virginia Sherrod voted for the ordinance. Josh Huseman and Nancy Copple voted against it.

Sherrod, 4th Ward alderwoman, said she voted for the ordinance for two reasons; one was because of a conversation she had with Rick “Spider” Kramer’s wife, Gloria Kramer.

“That was my deciding factor,” Sherrod said about Rick “Spider” Kramer, who currently is fighting nasopharyngeal cancer – which is cancer of the upper throat, according to

Sherrod said Gloria Kramer told her that Rick “Spider” Kramer lost a “substantial amount of weight,” because of the chemotherapy treatments. She wants the Kramers to be able to drive a little closer from their home to get Rick “Spider” Kramer some marijuana, so he’d have more of an appetite – “cannabis tricks your brain into thinking you’re starving, even if you’re full,” according to a PBS article from 2015 – it’d be worth her vote.

Sherrod said she teetered between voting for or against the ordinance, formally called 2019.30, but decided she’d vote yes because of what she learned from the Kramers, as well as her faith in the city of Sycamore.

“Look at this beautiful street,” she said from inside her van, parked on Somonauk Street, near the intersection of Somanauk and State Streets. “It won’t change. It won’t change the makeup of Sycamore.”

Sherrod said while there’s not a right or wrong vote, she’s glad the council voted for the ordinance.

“As a city council, I think we made the right decision, because I think the council has done a marvelous job in keeping Sycamore a safe place along with the police, firefighters and first responders,” Sherrod said. “It’s a whole united effort.”

Dick Larson and William Hutchins showed up to Monday night’s meeting to encourage the council to vote for the ordinance. Hutchins and his wife, Rita Hutchins, thanked Sherrod for her vote.

“You have liquor stores in the community,” William Hutchins said during his speech to the council, before it voted for the ordinance. “Did people turn into raging alcoholics? No.”

William Hutchins mentioned how Amsterdam allows a lot of things, and how it doesn’t have much crime. He said how he didn’t think Sycamore’s crime would increase, either.

“I don’t see the town going to hell in a handbag,” William Hutchins said.

Larson agreed.

“I don’t think people will rush out and buy it,” Larson said.

Not all were happy about the vote passing.

Ron Floit, who urged the city not to vote for the ordinance, said the best man at his wedding came to town for the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival and was “blown away” by it.

“We have what so many people want,” Floit said. “You can come back to a small town. A town that does its best. If we sell recreational marijuana, is our brand going to be better two years or five years down the road?”

Lillian Harbecke agreed with Floit and also urged the council to vote against.

“We don’t have to take it,” Harbecke said.

After the meeting, William Hutchins, Rita Hutchins and Larson stayed to talk to Sherrod.

“I’m glad we were here to watch it pass,” Rita Hutchins said. “It’s the right decision. William Hutchins agreed.

“This should have happened a long time ago,” William Hutchins said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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